A front-line worker for the IW Ambulance Service has spoken of her family’s battle with Covid and how she is “one of the very lucky ones” to survive.
Lynsey Groves, 34, a mother of two from Ryde, who has also worked as a carer and a health care assistant at St Mary’s Hospital, opened up on the Friends of Freshwater Fire Station Facebook page. This is Lynsey’s Covid19 story.
“When Covid first started it was a very surreal and frightening time; the thought of catching something deadly and passing it on to my family made me very scared.
“As a mum, your first instinct is to protect your kids and, luckily, I was able to put some protection in place for my children. They went to stay with their dad for eight weeks whilst he was off work so that I could continue working on the Ambulance.
“I only saw them a couple of times each week just to talk over the garden wall. We had no physical contact at all, no hugs and no kisses. As a mum, that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
“Initially I saw very few Covid patients but, by November, I was seeing more and more people who I knew were positive. Some of these patients were dreadfully poorly and, due to social distancing and infection control procedures, I found that not being able to give our poorly patients, or their relatives, a hug just the hardest thing.
“In mid-December, three days before I tested positive, I was getting more and more breathless but, due to previous problems I’d had with my heart, I just put it down to that.
“On December 16, I tried to take the kids to school but felt so poorly I had to make other arrangements. That’s when I realised something was very wrong, so I took a Covid test and, because I was concerned, the kids once again went to stay with their dad.
“My Covid test came back positive on December 20, and a couple of days later the headaches started, the most horrendous pains behind my eyes as well as loss of appetite. The headaches continued accompanied with bad tummy pain and awful pains in my kidneys.
“From then, until Christmas Eve, I just dosed up on pain killers and slept as much as I could. It was Christmas Eve when I found I’d lost my sense of smell and taste – I tested this by biting into a raw onion and couldn’t taste a thing!
“Christmas Day should have been a great day for me and my children, as it was meant to be the first Christmas with the children in three years, as I’d worked the previous years. However, to protect them, they were already staying with their dad and at least I knew they were safe.
“In the days that followed I got stronger and was slowly able to do more. I was finally strong enough and out of isolation on December 28 and the children came home.
“Up until recently, I was still getting breathless. Simple things like walking up the stairs exhausted me and left me with horrendous pains in my kidneys. This went on for several weeks and normal tasks felt so much harder. After 10 weeks off work I am finally strong enough to be back doing the job I love.
“My partner and his family and my mother all contracted Covid after me. I felt terrible about this but I was unaware I had it at first.
“I recently had my vaccine and was more than happy to have this, especially after experiencing how terrible Covid could be. The only after-effect I had from it was a sore arm for a day or two. I’m looking forward to having my second injection for further protection.
“I’m so relieved that I was one of the lucky ones. I survived and, although it’s taken me a while to recover, I’m now back at work on the front line and getting stronger. It has been a real eye opener and made me even more proud of the amazing people I work with and who put their lives on the line daily.”