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Nurse who worked on coronavirus frontline can never work again after falling ill

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A nurse has been told she will never work again after contracting a number of debilitating life-long illnesses which she thinks could have been exasperated by coronavirus.

Liverpool-based Caroline Quinn was working on the front line when the UK went in to lockdown earlier this year following the outbreak of the deadly Covid-19 virus.

The 41-year-old was a registered nurse at Liverpool’s Aintree hospital and worked on the wards helping to fight to save lives of coronavirus positive patients in March.

Despite being told to shield due to suffering asthma, Ms Quinn opted to return to work in order to help as staff at the hospital were “over run” with patients.

However, in April, she became violently ill herself with severe bouts of nausea.

Ms Quinn was later diagnosed with gastroparesis and bowel dysmotility – and later suffered from re-feeding syndrome, a life threatening condition when the body rejects foods.

She now requires life-long treatment and doctors have warned her that her condition is so severe she will never be able to work again.

Although she has not tested positive for coronavirus, Ms Quinn believes she contracted the virus earlier this year – and has questioned if the effects of the virus could be to blame for her condition.

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Opening up about her ordeal, she told the Liverpool Echo: "When the pandemic started I was advised to shield from it because I suffer from asthma. But they were so over run at work I just could not sit at home.

"I have been a nurse for 20 years and wanted to be there to help.

"But in April I began to feel poorly. I ended up at home in bed. The main symptom was incessant vomiting. But I also suffered from acute lethargy – some days I could not make it out of bed.

"I ended up being admitted to Aintree. I had several Covid tests but they are all came back negative. My view is that I had Covid.

"My symptoms have been experienced by other Covid victims and I think I contracted the virus. But I cannot prove it at this stage.”

The experienced nurse questions if her current condition could be as a result of coronavirus – an after effect that medical experts have not yet noted.

She continued: ”I do know that our understanding of Covid and its consequences is still at an early stage. We will learn more with time.

"Yes, it was my choice to go to work and everyone at Aintree has been very supportive.

"It's just hard to know I will not work again. My consultant explained to me that my symptoms would make it impossible for me to return to nursing or any workplace for that matter.

"I still suffer from frequent vomiting. I now rely on a tube for food and water. I cannot eat or drink again. I am at a christening today and just have to sit here while everyone enjoys themselves.

"But looking back, I could have died so I have to be thankful."

Ms Quinn requires a gasctic pacemaker to help her cope with her symptoms – the cost of which starts at £17,000.

Her sister in law, Louis McCullagh, has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the medical costs of the equipment and treatment that Ms Quinn will need for the rest of her life.

Ms McCullagh writes alongside her appeal: “Caroline can't afford the pacemaker that is needed to help manage her chronic condition. This treatment is sadly not available on the NHS.

“She is desperate to try and gain some level of normality back in her family life which will never be the same.

“Simple things like getting out of bed and eating a meal with her family without feeling so nauseous and ill are now distant memories.”

  • NHS
  • Family
  • Coronavirus

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