First Community Health and Care has helped East Surrey resident Sarah Parker to successfully complete a Long Covid rehabilitation programme, allowing her to resume normal daily activities and return to full-time work.
In November 2020, Sarah contracted Covid-19, which was complicated by regular chest infections and an underlying asthma condition.
In February 2021, after struggling with symptoms such as severe headaches and shortness of breath, Sarah’s GP referred her to First Community’s Long Covid Rehabilitation Team. She began a series of physiotherapy sessions, firstly focused on exercises to improve her breathing and then moving onto physical exercises aimed at progressing mobility, movement and strength.
Sarah also completed a virtual fatigue management course, which provided lots of useful tools and techniques to support and manage her symptoms.
She is delighted with the positive outcomes she’s had:
“When my symptoms first started it felt like the worst flu in the world. All I wanted to do was sleep. I couldn’t walk down the stairs without sitting halfway, or stand long enough to make food, and as I continued to have trouble breathing, I knew something wasn’t quite right.
The physiotherapists worked with me at a slow pace, adapting exercises to how I was responding. I learnt breathing techniques and it’s really helped with my asthma too.
I’m continuing to take one day at a time and use all the tools and techniques I learnt during the programme. I still get some symptoms, including brain fog when I’m tired and lack of taste and smell, but I can now breathe properly which is such a positive step for me.
I’m thrilled to feel well enough to be back at work and I feel I’m almost back to where I was before I had Covid. Being able to walk up and down the stairs without having to stop to catch my breath has made such a difference.
All the physiotherapists and occupational therapists who cared for me were amazing. Their support gave me everything I needed, and I can’t thank the team enough.”
First Community is part of the NHS, delivering community healthcare services in East Surrey and the surrounding area. They provide high-quality nursing and therapy services, children and family services as well as a community inpatient ward and minor injury unit at Caterham Dene Hospital. Its Long Covid Rehabilitation Service launched in December 2020.
Visit First Community’s website for more information.