Healthy mum, 32, left ‘crying in agony’ with ‘instant’ coronavirus symptoms

A healthy 32-year-old mum who contracted coronavirus says her symptoms left her "crying in agony" after they "came on in an instant" last week.

Jess Marchbank, a former paediatric nurse with no underlying health conditions, developed a sore throat on Friday night.

As she put her two young children to bed in their home in Westward Ho! in Devon, her symptoms rapidly worsened into "the worst headache ever".

"I couldn't see properly, felt like I'd been hit over the head," she told the Sun.

"Then it just got worse overnight. I was crying in agony as my joints felt like they were on fire.

"My chest was killing me."

She had a high temperature of 38.5 and a dry cough – two telltale signs of COVID-19 and was unable to get out of bed.

"I knew it was coronavirus as I'd never felt anything like this pain before."

After calling 111 she was told to self-isolate and stayed in bed for the rest of the weekend. Her condition got worse as she lost the ability to taste and smell (another classic symptom).

More worryingly, she stopped being able to take in enough oxygen, giving her blueish skin and a light-headed dizzy sensation.

"I was all mottled and couldn't catch a breath so we ended up calling 999 and being taken to A&E," she said.

Live updates on COVID-19 cases near you

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Fortunately after being treated in hospital Ms Marchbank recovered enough to be discharged, and yesterday returned home to her family although still has a cough and a sore chest.

She says she has no idea where she got coronavirus from as her family had already been practising social distancing when she fell ill, and described the pandemic as like living in a Stephen King novel.

"These are such testing times for us all."

There are currently 9,849 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and 477 people have died.

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