Working in a Care Home and Overcoming Covid-19 – Sue’s Story
For Sue Ferry, a carer at Dene Holm Residential Care Home and asthma sufferer, the threat of contracting Covid-19 was a real concern but having endured the virus and returned to work, she shared her story with us.
“I was really worried when Covid-19 started to become more serious, as an asthma sufferer, I knew I would be high risk if I caught it, so when I started to feel unwell over the Easter weekend, I was concerned. I got home from an evening shift at about 10pm and felt really tired and lethargic. I was coughing a lot, I cough quite a lot anyway as I suffer from asthma, but my husband picked up on this, which was unusual. After taking myself off to bed, it really hit me in the night, the high temperature and the headaches were unbearable. I phoned in sick to work and called 111, who advised me to isolate for five days, I could barely get out of bed to get to the toilet, so that was no problem!”
A few days later, Sue tested positive for Covid-19 and continued to isolate but unfortunately, her condition worsened and 111 advised her husband to call an ambulance for her.
“The paramedics wanted me to go to the hospital, but I didn’t want to go, I genuinely thought if I went to hospital, I wouldn’t come back. So, I contacted my GP and arranged to have my observations done safely, as they had a tent set up for safe visiting. Unfortunately, my GP recommended calling an ambulance again and this time, my oxygen was so low, I had to go in. Watching my daughter’s face as we drove away was awful, she was mortified.”
Sue spent the next two weeks in hospital, she had pneumonia, and was put on oxygen as well as IV, as she was unable to eat. Using a walking frame to get to the toilet and taking morphine for the excruciating headaches, she slowly started to feel better and was able to go home and eventually, return to work.
“The recovery was slow, I stayed at home for days, not wanting to go out. But when I returned to work, my team were fantastic. At the start of the pandemic, it felt like care homes were not acknowledged by the government, with regard to PPE and testing, everything took a long time. But now, we have all we need and so I actually felt really safe coming back to work.
“Being at Dene Holm actually feels very safe, as we are in our own little bubble. We stopped accepting visitors quickly once the situation started to escalate and the situation with testing is now much better. When we come on shift, we’re given masks, visors, hand gel and we ensure we use it correctly. We all take it very seriously, as we are aware of the risks.
“I have worked at Dene Holm for 16 years and as a team, we’re really pulling together, I received so many well wishes from my colleagues whilst I was off, so it was lovely to be back. We are upbeat, and morale is so much better than it was at the beginning. Of course, we have good days and bad days, but we help each other through, as we’re all in it together.”