Covid-19: Sheffield woman with long-Covid believes illness should be seen as a disability

A Sheffield woman has shared her experience of having long-Covid and told how she believes the illness should be treated as a disability.

Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 6:00 am

Jane McPhillips, a businesswoman, first began suffering from long-Covid symptoms in April 2020, right at the beginning of the pandemic.

Around June that year, she realised she wasn’t getting any better and was still suffering from the same symptoms each day.

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Jane McPhillips has had long-covid since April 2020.

Symptoms Jane has suffered with due to long-Covid include shortness of breath, chest pains, heart palpitations at night, brain fog, poor sleep, chronic fatigue, soar throat, muscle aches, and burning feet.

Due to the illness, Jane felt completely unable to work and so signed off in July 2020, before going back in February 2021.

"Brain fog meant that I just couldn’t work anymore because I just couldn’t bring information together,” said Jane. “I had quite a challenging job and I just knew I couldn’t work right then."

While being off of work, Jane spent a lot of time practising hypnotherapy, and after realising she could no longer work full-time two months after going back, Jane began an online hypnotherapy business to help others struggling with long-Covid and other illnesses – a business that she says is going very well.

"I started full time in September 2021, and it is going really well,” she said.

"It has been the best thing to happen to me and in a strange way, getting Covid has allowed me to have a better work-life balance and a fulfilling career where I can help people, as well as learning more and more about how the mind works and how the body works.

"I’m in a better place now, it’s just been a challenge on the journey.”

Jane, while feeling better, is still suffering the effects of long-Covid and must manage her energy levels whilst she continues to recover.

Jane believes that long-Covid should be seen as a disability with it having such long, continued effects on people’s lives.

"People who are working for an organisation as an employee, by having disability as a kind of protective label really, will help so that there is an understanding that this person has to manage with long-Covid every day,” she said.

She was speaking after a survey from UNISON showed people were returning to their jobs early even with long-Covid symptoms as they feared losing their jobs.

UNISON’s head of health, Sara Gorton, said: “Long-Covid must be seen and treated as a disability so staff with the condition are protected and supported to return to work. Some health workers are being punished for being ill and risk being driven out of the health service, just when they are needed the most.”

Jane has shared some tips to help those going through long-Covid.

She advised them to accept where they are in their recovery journey, and to not push through. She also is a big advocate for pacing yourself. She believes if you are unable to do something today due to your energy levels, ‘tomorrow is another day’.

You can find Jane McPhillips’ hypnotherapy business at: janemcphillipshypnotherapy.com.