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Long Covid: Girl, 10, struggles to walk and talk

Libby caught Covid in February and is still struggling with extreme fatigue, constant headaches, and is using a wheelchair due to feeling too weak. The Office for National Statistics predicted only 0.6% of people aged two to 11 in the UK had long Covid. However, Kate Davies from charity Long Covid Kids said it could be higher as “many children go under the radar”.

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When Libby, from Cardiff, grows up she wants to be a vet or police dog handler and loves kayaking, trampolining and swimming.

But she struggles even to stand and said she “feels terrible”.

“Since having Covid I have a constant headache, can’t sleep at night, am very dizzy and for the last five weeks I’m not able to stand or walk and need a wheelchair to get around,” she said.

“I get breathless doing small things and I am not able to do much.”

Libby has barely been able to go to school since being ill and said she never expected to be so unwell.

“The first thing that happened was I lost my voice, then had a fever, backache, blocked nose, headache and fatigue. My throat was also really sore and very painful, which stopped me from sleeping as I couldn’t get comfortable.

“I went to the doctors a few times and had antibiotics, but they didn’t really help.”

She has been diagnosed with chronic fatigue as a result of Covid.

“The worst thing is not being able to walk and needing help from my mum and dad to do simple things,” Libby said.

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“I feel lonely at night because I am awake and I don’t have much of a voice so I can’t call when I need help.”

She said she needed help doing even small things like getting snacks, washing her hair and has to be carried upstairs to bed because she does not have the energy at the end of the day.

“I miss school and haven’t been able to go for the last few months as have been awake all night and slept most the day. I also miss my friends and doing gymnastics at playtime,” she said.

“I haven’t seen many friends as I don’t have the energy and even talking wears me out and hurts my throat.”

She said she has seen some friends who live nearby, but using a wheelchair has made things “tricky”.

However, she wants to go back for her last year of primary school and is saving up for her own kayak next summer.

“I watched one of my brothers kayaking tonight and it made me feel more motivated to want to walk again.

“I hope I get better soon as it’s not fun feeling poorly all the time.”

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