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Scunthorpe nurse back at work after Covid-19 made her a patient on her own ward

Scunthorpe nurse back at work after Covid-19 made her a patient on her own ward

Scunthorpe nurse back at work after Covid-19 made her a patient on her own ward

A Scunthorpe nurse who battled Covid-19 has recovered enough to return to the frontline.

Sue Snelson spent 12 days in Scunthorpe General Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit in April/May – a ward she had managed for more than 20 years.

Sue, critical care outreach nurse specialist, said: “I was looked after by staff that I had appointed when they first started out so it was very surreal.”

She remembers very little of her time in hospital, but knows she was critically ill.

“The staff kept a diary which has really helped with my recovery as I didn’t know what had happened to me. At one point my family were told I was likely to die, but thankfully I turned a corner.”

After four months off work, Sue, who joined the NHS in 1972, is back caring for patients and says it feels amazing: “It’s so good to be back,” she said. “Everyone has been so supportive and it feels good to be looking after people again. Plus there’s only so much daytime telly you can watch!”

Sue, 64, says although she is feeling better she is still recovering from coronavirus and still gets short of breath. “The recovery has been very slow and I will always have some shortness of breath as I have scarring on my lungs,” she said.

Sue is currently working on a green ward, rather than in her usual role, which means she only cares for patients who have tested negative for the virus as she explained: “I can’t go back to my role just yet as they just don’t know whether I could catch it again. I love my job though and want to get back to it as soon as I can.”

As part of her recovery, she is taking part in virtual pulmonary rehabilitation. Originally designed for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients, it’s now being prescribed for patients like Sue. “I do 20 minutes a day, five times a week; you wear a virtual reality headset and it’s an animation where you do exercises in a chair; it’s helping with my lung function and building my muscles back up again.”

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