Theresa Summers, from Portlethen, near Aberdeen, was one of many Scots who had initial fears over getting a Covid-19 vaccine when they were first introduced.
Her husband Tommy shared those worries so they both opted not to get the jab; a decision that would have serious consequences for both after they contracted Covid.
They ended up in hospital and while Tommy, 71, recovered after a spell in ICU, Theresa’s life has now been turned upside down by Long Covid – the medical mystery dubbed ‘the biggest mass disabling event since the First World War’.
Throughout her ordeal Theresa, 54, kept a diary and has now shared her day-to-day thoughts with us to raise awareness of Long Covid, to urge people to get vaccinated and to spread the following message: Long Covid is here to stay.
We’ve converted Theresa’s diary entries into graphic form to show the agonies she has endured.
Theresa’s Long Covid story
Theresa and Tommy’s case is one being played out across the country – people with mild infections, which in some cases don’t even require hospitalisation, are devastated by the draining symptoms of Long Covid.
Two years into the pandemic, Long Covid is still a very poorly understood condition which has triggered a public health crisis in its own right.
World-renowned medical expert Dr Anthony Fauci suggested that up to 35 percent of people with a coronavirus infection will develop Long Covid.
The Office of National Statistics estimate 1,209,000 people in the UK are living with the condition, with 99,000 in Scotland.
Since Long Covid has no universally agreed clinical diagnostic test, this figure could be the tip of the iceberg with many people in Aberdeenshire and the Highlands going undiagnosed.
Muscle spasms, chronic fatigue, diarrhoea, air hunger to the point of gasping for breath, and even organ failure have all been cited as symptoms.
Where can I get help if I think I have Long Covid?
- Symptoms and who to contact for suspected Long Covid
- Long Covid support group
- Long Covid kids support group
- NHS resources for people recovering from Covid-19
- Treatment for Long Covid
- Find out about the Covid vaccine rollout progress in Scotland
- Long Covid in children: Parents around the world fight for their kids
- Mum’s plea for specialist long Covid clinic to help 8-year-old Anna
- Aberdeen man speaks out over 10-month long Covid struggle
- Words by Stephen Stewart
- Story design by Cheryl Livingstone
- Illustrations by Roddie Reid