Woman who was hospitalised after catching Covid inspired to become a carer
- Credit: Danielle Booden
A Norwich carer who feared she would die after catching coronavirus has said how the experience altered her perspective and inspired a career change.
Linsey McFarlane, 35, from Ormesby Road, Badersfield, who has severe asthma, deteriorated rapidly at her home after developing a cough, headache and tiredness on April 1 last year.
She was blue-lighted into the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) on Easter Sunday, April 12, where she spent four days on oxygen.
After the "terrifying experience", Mrs McFarlane, who has eight-year-old and five-year-old sons, has made a full recovery after shielding during the lockdowns due to her asthma.
She was even inspired to change her job of 16 years as an Asda home shopping picker to professional carer for Cera Care in the NR1 to NR8 areas, which she started exactly a year after falling ill with Covid.
Mrs McFarlane said: "Going through Covid made me want to get something out of my life. I know how much Rosie, the NNUH nurse, meant to me when I was ill. I thought I could give that to someone.
"If I'm meant to be here I thought I should do something worthwhile.
"I never thought of doing care work before and was sceptical I could transition from retail but I have fallen head over heels for it. I really enjoy coming into work.
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"A lot of our service users are isolated to protect themselves. It must be quite lonely. It is important for us carers to brighten up their day."
As part of her job she goes into people's homes with PPE on and helps adults of all ages with mental health issues or physical illness stay in their homes by offering emotional support or practical help, including washing and feeding.
"Sometimes people just want companionship and someone to have a cup of tea and chat with. There are not many jobs where you can say you made a difference," the 35-year-old added.
She said people should take the leap of faith and go into care work if they wanted to and hoped the pandemic had increased respect for health care workers.
As well as changing jobs, Mrs McFarlane, who has never felt so healthy, said her Covid experience taught her to re-evaluate life.
"It made me realise how precious family life is," the carer added.