Kayliegh Lodge, 35, lives on her own in Wallsend and works from home as a Customer Services Manager for Santander. She is counting down the days until her second vaccine after becoming seriously ill with Covid.
Just a week before her second dose Kayliegh experienced sickness and diarrhoea, symptoms she didn’t associate with Covid, and tested positive for the virus. She is thankful to have had the first dose of the vaccine but worries she could have been in hospital without any protection at all.
Today, she is back to feeling like herself again and is sharing her story to highlight that Covid is still here. Local data shows that the virus is still circulating in local communities and making some people seriously ill. She also wants to
encourage everyone, including 16 and 17-year-olds, to get both doses of the vaccine, to protect both themselves from serious illness as well as those around them.
“At the beginning of August, I went out, for the first time in months, to see some live Saturday night music. On Sunday morning, I woke up with sickness and diarrhoea. It was horrible but I just put it down to not being out for so long.
As the day went on my symptoms got worse from horrendous stomach cramps to not being able to keep water down. Then, several of my friends who came to the gig tested positive. I test myself regularly and after a few days I received my own positive test.
My friends and I weren’t surprised. We had all taken precautions when we were out but knew there was still a risk. That’s why we all have to keep doing our bit to look after ourselves and those around us as Covid is still here.
During my 10-days of self-isolation, I was bedridden with sickness and diarrhoea at first and then flu-like symptoms knocked me sideways.
After staying home for so long during the lockdowns and not catching even a cough or cold you forget what it’s like to be seriously ill. It was horrendous. I’d never wish this experience on anyone.
I also lost my sense of smell and taste - although I couldn’t keep anything down so I wasn’t really eating. On top of everything else was the exhaustion. Which, if I’m being really honest, still affects me today as I feel wiped out after work or going out to see friends. It's the one thing all of my friends are still dealing with.
Thankfully, because several family members and other friends had already had Covid while I was self-isolating,I had an amazing support network. Friends messaged me each day to see how I was. My family came round to walk the dog and drop shopping and food off on the doorstep. I can’t thank them all enough.
Checking in on a friend, family member, colleague or neighbour who lives by themselves is vital especially if they contract Covid. Even small gestures from walking a dog to chatting to someone can make a huge difference when someone is self-isolating.
I was due to get my second vaccine while I was self-isolating. As soon as I can get a new appointment I can’t wait to get my second dose. Without my first vaccine, I honestly think I could have ended up in hospital on an IV drip if my symptoms hadn’t cleared up by the end of my self-isolation. I count myself incredibly lucky as all I kept thinking while I was ill was at least I can breathe.
For me the vaccine is vital. Yes, you can still contract Covid if you're double vaccinated but it significantly reduces your chances of becoming seriously ill and helps prevent the spread of the virus.
There are still people being admitted into hospital and developing Long Covid or are dying because of this disease - both old and young - but we can all do our bit to help save lives. So why not get the vaccine?”