A mum-of-two says she is living in a “limbo of death” nearly six months after she “won” her battle with coronavirus.
Jess Marchbank was a fit and healthy nurse when she was diagnosed with Covid-19 after suffering a sore throat at the start of the pandemic.
She was rushed Barnstaple hospital in Devon, where she was treated for three days before being discharged in late March, but she is unable to work, walk, or play with her children, reports.
The 33-year-old has spoken out about her ordeal to warn others of the sustained impact having the virus can have on your health.
Jess, who lives in Westward Ho!, Devon, said: “I don’t really feel like I’m living any more, physically I can’t do anything because of the fatigue.
Jess Marchbank in Barnstaple Hospital back in March (Image: Marchbank Family / SWNS.COM)
“I have chronic fatigue now, so if I do something simple like opening the blinds in the morning I have to sit down after doing that.
“I can’t play with the kids properly, I can’t work, I can’t do anything without getting breathless.”
She said that before she fell ill with the virus she was the picture of good health – regularly attending the gym and doing weight training.
But since being struck down with the illness Jess can barely use the stairs unaided.
The mum-of-two was ‘fit and healthy’ before contracting the virus (Image: Marchbank Family / SWNS.COM)
She continued: “I was fit and healthy before, this is from the Covid.
“I was in the gym three times a week and could lift 90kg dead weights, but now I can’t even lift my two year old.
“It’s like being in limbo of life and death, because I can’t live.
“When I do try and do anything I get so many uncomfortable and painful things happen.
Jess was in hospital for three days (Image: Marchbank Family / SWNS.COM)
“Just walking up the stairs can cause my heart to jump up to 180bpm then it drops to 70 which makes me throw up.
“I have some funky heart things going on because of Covid, and have central nervous system issues.
“They say loss of taste and smell, it’s all linked to the nerves that Covid is attacking in the brain – it can cause long term brain damage.
“I still have no sense of smell or taste because the nerves in the brain have been affected by it.
Jess with daughter Lanie (top) and son Fraser (bottom) (Image: Marchbank Family / SWNS.COM)
“It’s all pretty weird and unpleasant.”
Jess refuses to give up hope even though medic have no idea how to treat her ongoing condition.
She said that she dreams of being able to play with her children, Noah, five, and Lanie, two, and of being able to spend time with her 38-year-old husband Fraser.
Jess continued: “I’m currently seeing a cardiologist, so I’m awaiting a blood monitoring and a stress test.
Fraser Marchbank (middle) with children Lanie (left) and Fraser (Image: Marchbank Family / SWNS.COM)
“There is no cure, they’re saying it’s just time and patience – people keep saying I should pace myself.
“I don’t think this will last forever, I have to get better and I won’t take no for an answer – but they don’t know when or how.”
When she first became ill, Jess said the symptoms “came on in an instant” and she was rushed to hospital by paramedics on March 23.
At the time she shared pictures of her ordeal on Facebook, and said: “This is me being delivered back to my door after a three day stay at Barnstaple hospital, with confirmed coronavirus.
Jess and her husband on Westward Ho! beach in happier times (Image: Devon Live/BPM MEDIA)
“Feeling rather emotional, thankful, amazed and very overwhelmed that
“I am able to leave the hospital alive and not in a box!!
“I’m 32, I’m fit and healthy, no underlying medical conditions.
“My oxygen saturations were 80 per cent in air and Corona was fully kicking my butt.
Jess had no underlying conditions (Image: Marchbank Family / SWNS.COM)
“Then the world prayed, and here I am, not winging it, absolutely smashing Covid-19 straight back to hell.
“If you think this isolated ‘lockdown’ is bad and you’re ignoring the guidelines because ‘they’re stupid’, then let me tell you this – being fully isolated from the people you love and not knowing when (or if) you’ll hug them again is heck of a lot worse.
“Team that with the chronic piercing headache, limbs feeling on fire, painful chest, and the drowning tightness in your lungs… Now that’s bad.
“It was worse than bad.
“Stop messing about. Start taking this seriously.
“If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your granny and granddad, your immunocompromised friend, that little kid with cystic fibrosis, your mum with high blood pressure, your dad with diabetes.
“Do it for our NHS, stop the spread.”