Nicola Sturgeon thanks 28-year-old man for sharing story of dealing with ‘long haul’ coronavirus

Nicola Sturgeon has thanked a man who shared his story detailing the debilitating symptoms of “long haul” coronavirus.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 3:27 pm

Callum O’Dwyer, 28, was diagnosed with the virus in March and was left so physically and mentally fatigued he had to move back in with his parents in Aberdeenshire so they could care for him.

He told Radio Clyde that for a period of several weeks he was so weak he struggled to pick up water bottles or get up out of chairs.

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A video of his interview was retweeted by the First Minister on Wednesday.

Mr O’Dwyer, who is from Aberdeen, said: “I was struggling to pick up water bottles or pull myself out of chairs.

“Living by myself I was the ready meal king for weeks and weeks. To the point where I realised both physically and mentally I couldn’t look after myself any more.”

He has been staying with his parents for the last five and a half months and still struggles to cook for himself.

Mr O’Dwyer added: “It’s been very debilitating. In the months since it’s not just the fatigue – I’ve had issues with my lungs, though that’s now kind of cleared up.

Nicola Sturgeon has thanked a man who shared his story detailing the debilitating symptoms of “long haul” coronavirus. (Photo by Michael Schofield - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“With my heart, I’ve had a racing heart rate at rest. My stomach, I’ve had burning pain and all sorts of gastrointestinal issues.

“Regarding my brain, I’ve had terrible brain fog, unable to string my sentences together, slurring my words as if I’ve had 10 pints at the pub.”

The First Minister was asked about Mr O’Dwyer’s story at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing on Wednesday.

“The point Callum’s video really illustrates is this illness is not risk-free for younger people.

“You can get seriously ill and die even if you’re young.”

She added: “It’s probably appropriate for me to say a personal thank-you to Callum for sharing his experience.

“It’s not easy for anybody to share publicly an experience of ill health and go into the details of what you’re dealing with.

“But in doing this I think Callum has done a real public service and has more powerfully made the point that I’ve been trying to make over recent days.”

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