Sheffield Hallam University working to help people recover from long-term effects of virus

A new research and innovation unit to support people to recover and rehabilitate from Covid-19 is to be set up by Sheffield Hallam University.

Monday, 15th June 2020, 12:31 pm
Updated Monday, 15th June 2020, 12:32 pm
Jeannie McGinnis and her family on a trip to Edinburgh
Jeannie McGinnis and her family on a trip to Edinburgh

The RICOVR unit aims to provide support through research and innovation to the health and care services who are supporting people directly and indirectly affected by COVID-19.

The work of RICOVR seeks to address the long-term challenge of population health and wellbeing.

It will be located at the new £14m Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), a global centre for research and innovation in physical activity based at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park on the former site of the Don Valley Stadium in Attercliffe Common.

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Sheffield Hallam University's Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) at the Olympic Legecy Park in Sheffield

The AWRC seeks to improving people’s health and wellbeing through innovations that help people move.

Around 600 people in the Sheffield City Region have suffered acute Covid-19 symptoms requiring intensive care treatment.

Thousands more have experienced milder symptoms but still require recovery and rehabilitation support.

One of those people is Jeannie McGinnis, aged 48, who classed herself as fit and healthy before she fell ill with coronavirus on March 13. She is still suffering its effects.

Jeannie experienced moderate symptoms and wasn’t admitted to hospital.

She has now contracted asthma and suffers what she calls the ‘Covid strangle’ when she wakes up with a feeling of pressure on the chest.

Jeannie, who is part of an online support group, is one of around one in 10 people to suffer post-viral effects.

She said: “What is difficult is that there is no cure, no definite course or path. Through my support group I have spoken to lots of people who were healthy, some very young, who have long-term complications.

“This has taught me I need to be so diligent and manage my health and my body.

“Some days taking the washing downstairs is too much. Simple, everyday tasks are sometimes impossible almost three months on.

“It’s clear that this is having a significant, long-term impact on some people who would have been considered low risk and there will be an extended recovery period for those people.

“Extra support and expertise to aid that recovery - like the work of this new unit - can only be a good thing.”