A Dundee mum and daughter who battled to survive Covid-19 at the same time will be reunited tomorrow after five emotional and exhausting weeks apart.
Anne Wicker, 62, and Sheila Wicker, 84, were taken to Ninewells Hospital days apart last month but are now on the road to recovery.
The virus was so severe for Anne that she needed therapy to walk again.
Despite being just a stone’s throw from each other throughout most of their time fighting the virus, they could not see or speak to each other.
At the start of April, Anne suddenly noticed her mum, who she lives with and carers for, was struggling with her balance.
She went to sit down one day but missed the seat and fell and was rushed to hospital.
Just days later, Anne also began to feel unsteady on her feet and crashed to the floor with nobody in the home to help her.
“It took me about three hours to get to the phone to call 999,” Anne said.
“Even then, I didn’t think it would be Covid-19. It was a shock when I found out we both had it.
“Because my mum is 84, I was really worried about her and obviously worried for myself too.”
The pair, originally from Lancashire, who are both partially sighted because of glaucoma, did not experience the common symptoms associated with coronavirus.
While in hospital, neither had any difficulty breathing or suffered from a fever.
“Symptoms seem to vary from person to person with this virus, it’s very strange,” she said.
“I was quite scared to be honest.
“I didn’t know what to expect. My mobility was almost nil and I think of myself as quite a fit and healthy person.
“My main issue was the tiredness. I just couldn’t get up to do anything. It took three people to help me up the first time I tried.”
Sheila quickly made huge strides in her recovery and was moved to Roxburghe House at Royal Victoria Hospital to continue resting before being allowed home last week.
Meanwhile, after a week at Ninewells, Anne was moved to the Centre for Brain Injury Rehabilitation (CBIR) just metres away from Roxburghe House.
Anne said: “We still couldn’t see each other although we’d managed to speak on the phone.
“A lot of my problems actually started after I moved from Ninewells. I had problems with my lungs and I had some breathlessness – although they don’t know if that was actually Covid-19,
“I have never been in hospital for more than one night my whole life and here I am in for five weeks. I still can’t believe it.
“I wouldn’t say I’m an emotional person usually but I feel I have been through a battle.
“The goal of getting home is so close and I can’t wait to see and hug my mum.”
Thanks to the “marvellous” care of those in Ninewells and the staff at CBIR, Anne will be allowed home tomorrow to see her mum for the first time since April 7.
She says her recovery is down to the determination and encouragement of the occupational therapists and physiotherapists at CBIR.
But she warned others to stick to the Scottish Government’s clear stay at home message as the threat of the virus is still very real.
“These people are putting their lives on the line every day,” she said.
“People shouldn’t do anything selfish which could make things so much worse. Don’t take risks.”
Occupational therapist team leader at CBIR Paula Young and occupational therapist, Shona Kerr, said they have seen about six patients come through for post Covid-19 rehabilitation.
They both praised Anne for her courage.
Shona said: “It’s a very emotional thing to go through. The journey is not always over after leaving Ninewells.
“The important thing for people like Anne is to gain confidence and independence back. She has been very motivated and thankfully she will be home soon.”
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