“The GP assumed it was anxiety.”
That’s despite a plethora of symptoms that would suggest otherwise.
It’s likely Heather caught COVID at school. Especially when over 25% of her year group had contracted the illness while she was still attending. But while others recovered, Heather’s condition continued to get worse.
Her mum says that she did have a convulsive cough from day one, but after ten days it was so bad she couldn't breathe. 111 immediately advised a trip to A&E.
An ECG found that Heather’s heart rate was resting between 120 - 135 beats per minute. However, this was the only test that was carried out before she was sent home. Thankfully, Heather has received more medical support elsewhere.
Heather’s mum says;
“Her consultant paediatrician’s brilliant. They’ve spoken to multiple hospitals, written to the school and phones regularly to update us.”
But whilst Heather’s blood tests confirmed it was COVID-19, all other tests came back OK. “The consultant is struggling to find a Children's Long Covid Clinic to support her,” says Mum.
Today, the GP has prescribed propranolol as Heather’s heart rate is still resting at 112 at rest. Strange because Heather’s unable to do anything to increase her heartbeat naturally; the chronic fatigue prevents much beyond bed rest and sleep.
“We’re desperately trying to maintain schooling, however, two weeks after trying one lesson a day, Heather’s symptoms got even worse. I dress and shower her to try and conserve some energy for school but her focus and concentration are hugely impacted. It’s similar to the early stages of Alzheimer's,”
says Heather's Mum.
Two lessons on two days a week proved too much - as did half of her GCSE mock exams - and Heather was forced to pull out of school before the end of term.
The good news is that Heather’s school has been supportive of the situation. Her form tutor regularly updates the head teacher and has organised a reduced timetable with 1:1 online tutoring for maths and English.
This is Heather’s GCSE year and although her attendance at school before COVID was 100%, it’s now sitting at just 51.9%. Every day consists of either bed rest or one hour of school when she’s up to it.
“That’s 14 weeks in and still only on one hour a day when she was able to,”
That is why Long Covid Kids is committed to supporting research and creating resources like the LCK Educational Toolkit, and with your help, we can continue our work. Please consider donating today and help us be there for every family who needs us.
Long Covid Kids supports children and young people living with Long Covid and related illnesses, as well as the families and caregivers who look after them. We rely entirely on donations to fund our vital work. And this is why we need your help to continue helping children like Heather who are struggling with Long Covid.
Please donate today to give children with Long Covid a brighter future.
£20 could help us continue championing the rights of children like Heather whose lives have been turned upside down by Long Covid.
£10 could help us run weekly support sessions for children like Heather who are immensely isolated by their illness.
£5 could help us moderate chat forums for young people like Heather desperate to connect with others in the same situation.
Your gift can make a meaningful difference in the lives of these brave young people. Thank you for your support.
If you are a young person who has been affected by the ongoing symptoms of COVID, support is available, with or without a diagnosis. More info here.
If you, or someone you know has had a change in their health following a COVID infection reliable support and information can be found here: