Survivor of Covid-19 recounts how her family experienced different symptoms


A woman who survived Covid-19 but lost her own mother to the deadly disease spoke about the traumatic reality that NHS workers face every day and how her family suffered from series of symptoms.

Four family members of teacher Carol-Ann Challoner – all key workers – contracted the killer virus, and her mother tragically died in hospital.

The 46-year-old man, who fell ill in March, congratulated NHS staff and told the Liverpool Echo “some of the things I saw in the service will stay with me forever.”

Carol-Ann said her father Joey, an ambulance driver, her mother Carol, a social worker, and her brother Joseph, who works with children with learning disabilities, all had different symptoms of the contagious virus.

Tragically, Carol Challoner, 65, died after fighting the killer virus

She explained how her family had symptoms ranging from a rash to cold chills and flu-like symptoms.

And that while you are in the hospital “you hear people dying” and “you forget how to breathe”.

Carol-Ann exposed the traumatic reality of the coronavirus and how our NHS staff cares compassionately for people in extraordinary circumstances.

Although doctors and nurses revealed that they had to wear mountains of protective gear, Carol-Ann said, “They looked so deflated, but they still tried to smile at you. “

Carol “loved to spoil people,” said daughter

Carol-Ann was so moved by the compassion of Aintree hospital staff that she raised funds for them as a thank you.

Teacher Carol-Ann of Croxteth Park said she was admitted to Aintree Hospital in March after having difficulty breathing.

During her stay, Carol-Ann’s beloved mother, Carol Challoner, 65, was also admitted and also fought the coronavirus.

Unfortunately, Carol died at the hospital and tributes have since poured in for the caring social worker.

Carol-Ann spoke to ECHO about her hospital experience and why she wants to give back to the passionate staff who took care of her.

Carol-Ann said, “I developed a rash, and I just thought it was allergies.

“It seemed to me that when I was eating bread, I was rushing out, and I had just changed the laundry, so I thought that was it.

Grandmother of six Carol has dedicated her life to helping others

“I didn’t really pay attention to it. The day after my father came home from work and I had my tea that evening with my mother and father, I don’t live with them but I cook for them and they cook for me.

“He came home and said,” I really don’t feel well, I can’t warm up. “

“He did not join us for tea, but then developed all of the signs for Covid-19. The next day, I started to develop symptoms as well.

“The next morning was the last day the government kept the schools open and I wanted to say goodbye to my 11th grade, and I was thinking of going. Fortunately, I did not enter because I felt too bad.

“We all had different symptoms, I had a rash, my father had cold chills and flu-like symptoms.

“So I isolated myself for a week, my father isolated for a week. “

Emotional tributes to Carol

As of March, there was not as much information about the deadly disease as there is today, and theories have since developed on its effects on families.

Carol-Ann said, “There are 1,001 things going on in your head because you hear people dying.

“It was weird, it sounds really stupid, but it’s like you forget how to breathe. You focus on how to breathe.

“I was taken to the Amber service, where anyone who hadn’t tested positive or expected results was sent there.

“It was all a little fuzzy, and I slept for most of it, but I was put on an IV, I was put on high enough oxygen.

“I just remember it exploded in my nose and I think I just slept. “

Describing the heavy kit that hospital workers wore to protect themselves, Carol-Ann said she was concerned about their comfort.

“Best mom in the world” Carol Challoner, 65, died at Aintree hospital with husband by her side

She said, “They were all wearing plastic coats, gloves. They wore material coats but all the nurses tripped over them, they were too long.

“Some of them wore glasses, some wore visors.

“I know myself with the oxygen mask just above the ear, it just removes the skin. They put on these masks all day, so God knows what it should look like.

“I felt so sorry for them because one, they put on the scrubs, then they put on the dresses, then they got the aprons.

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“And then the glasses and the visors and everything.

“I don’t know where they could breathe or have room to breathe.

“All the nurses said,” I can’t wait to go home and take a shower, or take a bath or put on my pajamas. ” Looking at them, I felt so sorry for them.

“They seemed so deflated but they still tried to put a smile on your face.” “

Noting the compassionate daily care that doctors and nurses provide to patients, Carol-Ann said that she also heard heartbreaking conversations where staff were to discuss options for not resuscitating (DNR) with patients.

Carol added, “This is not a conversation that doctors should have with someone. “

During her stay, she also tragically heard nurses mention her mother’s name and was told that her mother should also go to the hospital because of her coronavirus symptoms.

She said, “I heard them say her mom was on the way and I panicked. I started to cry, I kept thinking “my poor little mom”.

“I kept thinking she shouldn’t be here. “

At the beginning, Carol-Ann said that her mother had no trouble breathing, as she did, but had flu-like symptoms, started hallucinating, and that’s when an ambulance was called.

Carol-Ann added that her mother had no underlying health problems, suffered from type 2 diabetes, but was regularly at the gym and was “quite fit.”

Passionate staff at Aintree hospital asked the mother and daughter if they wanted to be side by side, but Carol-Ann said she thought the couple would worry too much about one of the other to focus as much as possible on their recovery.

As Carol-Ann’s condition improved, she was told that her mother should be taken to the intensive care unit.

Dressed in personal protective equipment, Carol-Ann was allowed to speak to her mother before being taken to the unit.

She said, “They dressed me, put on gloves, tied me to an oxygen tank, and put on a visor before taking me to my mother’s bay.

“There were patients in the bay and about three nurses and I started to cry. When they took me to see my mother, I think everyone was shocked because we were mother and daughter.

“We just cried uncontrollably, all of the seated patients were crying and even the nurses started to cry. We were both exhausted.

“With the masks and everything we couldn’t really talk about. “

Carol unfortunately died some time later after spending a few weeks in hospital.

Paying tribute to her mom, Carol-Ann wrote on a gofundme page for NHS staff: “We are all absolutely devastated because we really thought my mom was coming home, but it was not.

“Everyone says their mom is the best mom in the world but my mom really was. “

Carol-Ann was so moved by the compassionate care she and her mother received at the hospital that she ran a gofundme campaign, on behalf of her mother, to raise funds for NHS staff.

She said she wanted the money to be spent on luxury items so that staff could have fun after seeing how difficult their long shifts with PPE were.

In addition to this, Carol-Ann said that she is donating convalescent blood plasma for use in trials as a possible treatment for Covid-19.

The trials will examine whether transfusions of convalescent plasma could improve the speed of recovery and the chances of survival for a Covid-19 patient.

The trials are aimed at contacting people who have tested positive for Covid-19, so Carol-Ann has been contacted.

Writing on the gofundme page, Carol-Ann said, “As a family, we would like to raise at least £ 1,000 so that we can provide as many staff at Aintree Hospital, which most consider a luxury. daily, but essential for them. heroes, especially during these
hard times – moisturizers, bath bombs, bath gel.

“These little items that will mean a lot to them. We have to help our HEROES with their sanity and well-being, because believe me, they have so much to do right now, and unless you have been in these rooms, or have lost one be dear to COVID19, you will NEVER really understand what’s going on.

“So if that means our little HEROES can soak in a bubble bath for half an hour, hydrate their damaged and sore skin on their hands, then the least we can do for them. “


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