“This virus is life-changing and people should know the damage it can do and make sure they protect themselves as much as possible.”
Beechdale grandmother Kim Newton spent two months in intensive care after contracting Covid-19 – although she has absolutely no recollection of that period at all. She has spent the last couple of weeks at Hollybank House in Short Heath undergoing rehabilitation.
“The virus has left me unable to walk, I have no strength in my legs at all,” explained the 48-year-old.
“They’ve been working me really hard here though, I’ve been in the gym and have various exercises to do. I’m determined to walk again.”
Kim is asthmatic and when she became ill towards the end of March she originally thought she was having an asthma attack. She asked her partner to call an ambulance because she was struggling to get her breath and when paramedics put her on a nebuliser she was still unable to breathe properly.
“That was scary, when the nebuliser just wasn’t doing anything,” she said. “I was told I had Covid-19 and after that I went into the Intensive Care Unit but I can’t remember anything about my time in there at all. I have been told since how ill I was and it’s so weird hearing about it and not being able to remember anything. But I was obviously really ill and they helped me get better.”
Kim was also cared for on Ward 17.
“This virus is life-changing and people should know the damage it can do and make sure they protect themselves as much as possible,” she said. “I probably didn’t realise just how serious it was at first but here I am now, unable to walk and I haven’t seen my family for four months. I will do all I can to keep me and my family safe and other people should too. We shouldn’t just think everything’s OK because the virus is still here.”
Kim, who has three children, said she couldn’t wait to get back home now.
“They’ve all been amazing here at Hollybank House, all the therapists have been so kind and supportive. But I want to get home and do the cleaning!”
Stephanie Ward, Advanced Physiotherapist with Walsall Integrated Stroke Team, added: “Kim is a real character and we’ve loved working with her here at Hollybank House.
“She’s right when she says many people don’t realise just how debilitating this virus can be and how much effort has to go into patients’ rehabilitation and recovery. Kim is very determined and we’re sure she will achieve her goals as she continues to get better at home. We wish her all the best.”