Rachel’s Story

My Story By Rachel Gunne

This is me in hospital on January 5th, 2021 with MULTIPLE pulmonary embolisms (blood clots) in both of my lungs.

I contracted Covid-19 in October 2021. I was fairly sick with it in bed for nearly 2 weeks. I was breathless, tired, and achy, with bad headaches. Once I felt semi better, I went back to work. I have not been 100% since. For 3 months I had fatigue, anxiety and my stress level was through the roof. I experienced lung pain when I exercised but considered this a normal post-covid symptom as I was otherwise able to go about my day semi-normally and still do minimal exercise. I felt that I just had to get on with it and the symptoms would ease eventually.

Flash forward to December, my last week of work before Christmas and suddenly I went downhill. For nearly 2 weeks, I was so breathless that I couldn’t even get up the stairs without feeling like I ran 5K. Getting up and going to the bathroom was exhausting. I had heart palpitations, back pain, and extreme fatigue. I was sleeping for 15-16 hours a day and still needed the whole day in bed. I wasn’t getting any better and my Mom told me to go to A&E. I didn’t want to as I felt it was too much of a fuss, surely this is how everyone post-Covid feels from time to time. I was just going through a tired patch.

Once in the A&E, a CT scan showed both my lungs were covered in pulmonary embolisms (blood clots) and my heart had been strained. I was admitted for 3 days and started on blood thinners. I am 28 years old, active, non-smoker, and otherwise really healthy.

Please share my story with everyone you know and care about. I want to get this message to anyone who is experiencing worsening of Covid-19 symptoms. It is extremely important to get medical attention for these symptoms. Extreme breathlessness is not something to be ignored. I am extremely lucky to have found out about my clots when I did. They can be potentially fatal.