Irishman experiencing 'many challenges' of long COVID eight months later



Article By: Marita Moloney

"I think a lot of them still have their heads in the sand, unfortunately, and it's very frustrating for patients because people are suffering with these long-haul symptoms.



An Irishman who contracted COVID-19 in March is still suffering the effects of the virus eight months later.

Dean Feeney, who is 33, was living in Canada at the time and was suffering from burning sensations, severe heart palpitations and fatigue.

After months of living with these issues which did not match the symptoms for COVID-19, Dean discovered that many other people were dealing with similar situations.

Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show in August, he warned that while coronavirus is often viewed as a two-week illness for the young and healthy, there is a growing cohort of people who have suffered severe long-term effects.

Giving an update on the same programme today, Dean said he is "not all that better since August" and is still dealing with persistent and varied symptoms since contracting the disease.

He said: "It's an extremely slow recovery process, I'm eight, nearly nine months into it now and I'm still not back to work, not back running, not back exercising properly and still having recurring symptoms."

These health difficulties include severe heart problems, like arrhythmia or an irregular heartbeat, while more recently he has developed serious kidney problems, neurological issues, tinnitus, some stoke like symptoms and "many, many more" challenges.

He said: "I think the difficulty is with the recurrence of symptoms, for example with the heart issue, you could be having heart problems and after a few days it dissipates and you think it's over now but the same problem comes back maybe six weeks or six months later."

'No excuse' for GPs
Dean added that while he has been getting treatment, he believes there are problems with how COVID-19 is handled at a GP level.

He said: "A lot more is known about COVID now than was known at the beginning but unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be filtering down to the GPs.

"I think a lot of them still have their heads in the sand, unfortunately, and it's very frustrating for patients because people are suffering with these long-haul symptoms.

"Sick people need treatment at the end of the day and I understand they have established some post-COVID clinics in the country now.

"These are specifically designed for people with long-haul COVID but the problem is that GPs aren't aware, there seems to be a disconnect between the GPs and these clinics.

"The fact is the data is out there now, there are enough people suffering from this long-haul COVID that there's no excuse for the GPs not being aware of it and not being aware that there are specialist post-COVID clinics in the country now."

Dean said he is still a few months away from being able to return to work but that he is "slowly, slowly seeing some improvements".

He added: "Aside to all the symptoms, there is a general deterioration of the overall health, the body suffers from being inactive, so there are definitely some side effects to that too."



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