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Young teacher with type 1 diabetes and lung condition conquers COVID-19

A teacher with type 1 diabetes has spoken about recovering from COVID-19, her experience, her symptoms, and how she conquered it.

The secondary-school teacher also has a condition called Alpha-1 antitrypsin (A1AT) which affects her lungs and liver, putting her at a greater risk of the virus.

The account begins when the teacher started feeling tired at the beginning of March. She initially put the fatigue down to the stresses of teaching. However, the next day she developed a cough and felt like she was freezing cold.

She was advised to self-isolate by her work, and rang the NHS 111 operator who said it sounded like she had developed COVID-19.

“I struggled to breathe and felt constantly dizzy – I felt like I was about to pass out. But I tried to keep calm, drink plenty of water and keep as busy as I could,” she said.

Overall, her symptoms included:

  • Fatigue
  • Light-headedness
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling cold/Fever
  • Feeling faint
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sweating
  • Dehydration

At one point she thought she was feeling better and was over the worst, but in just a couple of days she began sweating, vomiting and struggling to breathe.

She said: “At this point I’m unsure whether to go to hospital. I feel as though I’ll be wasting valuable resources and I may be an infection risk to vulnerable patients.

“At 7pm on Saturday night I ring NHS 111 again. I’m in a really bad way. We wait nine hours for an ambulance to arrive and face-to-face assess me.”

When the ambulance still does not appear, it is suggested that she gets herself to the hospital. She is admitted and eventually tested positive for COVID-19.

She said: “I was severely dehydrated so was ordered fluids, and then sent back home. By day seven of the virus, I felt better and the symptoms started to lessen. My birthday was ruined though – I couldn’t blow out candles!

“It’s not pleasant but I have a lung condition as well as diabetes and I conquered the virus.”

The illness is the first of it’s kind to have such a global impact in living memory, but this story of conquering the virus shows that it is not all doom and gloom. There are many things you can do to protect yourself and keep yourself safe. For more information, you can refer to the Government website or view our coronavirus coverage and what you should be doing to follow the government guidelines.

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