A woman in her early 20s who was bed-bound for seven months after catching coronavirus is urging other young Londoners to get vaccinated.
Ella Harwood works as an illustrator and had no health concerns before she caught Covid-19.
Now the 23-year-old from London fears she will “never be the same again”.
Speaking as part of a video from NHS England, she said: “I was 21, I was fit and healthy I had literally no conditions, I was doing exercise.
“For about seven months solid I genuinely thought I might die.”
And her experience is not uncommon according to Tom Williamson, a physiotherapist at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust.
(Image: NHS England)
In the film he talks about young people struggling to even speak to their friends on the phone with some unable to return to school and work.
Tom said: “We’re treating more and more young Covid-19 patients who are still suffering with long Covid and it’s heart-breaking to see.
“Patients are experiencing extreme fatigue which means they can no longer do the things they love, and some have had to quit work.
“My message is clear. Covid-19 can affect anyone, regardless of your age or lifestyle so please get vaccinated. It’s the best way to protect yourself and others.”
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Ella now says she is grateful to be alive and is urging young people to get vaccinated.
She added: “Before I caught the virus, I was super active and had no health concerns, but I now suffer with asthma which I didn’t have before and a number of allergies.
“I fear I’ll never be the same again but I’m making progress and I’m very grateful that I’m still alive. Please get vaccinated if you haven’t already.”
The latest figures from NHS England show that a fifth of Covid-19 hospital admissions in England are aged 18 to 34 which is four times higher than the peak in the winter of 2020.
Since Monday (August 23), people aged 16 and 17 were offered the vaccination along with all at-risk people aged 12 to 15 in England.
Walk-in clinics in South West London can be found at https://swlondonccg.nhs.uk/.
Watch the video by clicking here.