Long-Covid: Chorley bell-ringer left needing an oxygen machine urges people to volunteer for long-covid research

A church bell ringer from Chorley who says long-covid has left her a ‘changed person’ is appealing for more people to volunteer for research into the condition.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Victoria Gibson, 47, said she used to be reasonably fit and outgoing, until the illness left her with debilitating symptoms that meant she had to give up her favourite hobby.

She said: “I’m a changed person since I had Covid. I was a reasonably fit, confident and outgoing person who enjoyed going out and socialising with my friends.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I used to love ringing the church bells, especially at Christmas, but I’m still not well enough to help this year.”

Photo Neil Cross; Bell ringer Victoria Gibson was unable to ring her local church bells at Christmas because of the effects of long Covid is urging people to take part in research into the conditionPhoto Neil Cross; Bell ringer Victoria Gibson was unable to ring her local church bells at Christmas because of the effects of long Covid is urging people to take part in research into the condition
Photo Neil Cross; Bell ringer Victoria Gibson was unable to ring her local church bells at Christmas because of the effects of long Covid is urging people to take part in research into the condition

Victoria was hospitalised with Covid in 2020, when she said it ‘felt [like] she was drowning’.

Since then she developed long-Covid symptoms, which has left her sometimes unable to walk around the house.

Although making steady progress, she was unable to ring the bells this festive season at her local church, where she is tower captain.

Read More
Six-year-old from Lancaster attempting to 'climb Mount Everest' by scaling Brita...
Photo Neil Cross; Bell ringer Victoria Gibson was unable to ring her local church bells at Christmas because of the effects of long Covid is urging people to take part in research into the conditionPhoto Neil Cross; Bell ringer Victoria Gibson was unable to ring her local church bells at Christmas because of the effects of long Covid is urging people to take part in research into the condition
Photo Neil Cross; Bell ringer Victoria Gibson was unable to ring her local church bells at Christmas because of the effects of long Covid is urging people to take part in research into the condition
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Victoria, who works for HM Land Registry, added: “Sometimes I’m unable to walk from the bedroom to the bathroom. I need to use the oxygen machine at home and I can’t go bellringing anymore.”

Now she is urging other people with long-Covid to come forward for research that will help doctors to learn more about the condition.

She has been volunteering on a trial at Salford Royal Hospital, which is part of Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust. It has involved answering questionnaires and keeping a diary of her symptoms, along with 3,000 other people.

“I’d encourage people with long Covid to sign-up to the research. Not only are you helping yourself and others, it is a great way to meet other people who have similar stories and can share advice.

Photo Neil Cross; Bell ringer Victoria Gibson was unable to ring her local church bells at Christmas because of the effects of long Covid is urging people to take part in research into the conditionPhoto Neil Cross; Bell ringer Victoria Gibson was unable to ring her local church bells at Christmas because of the effects of long Covid is urging people to take part in research into the condition
Photo Neil Cross; Bell ringer Victoria Gibson was unable to ring her local church bells at Christmas because of the effects of long Covid is urging people to take part in research into the condition
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Together we can find the answers. We can’t work in isolation. I’m confident they will find something to help all long Covid sufferers. It’s the only way we can get through this.”

Many people infected by Covid-19 feel the effects for about two weeks, but others experience lingering health problems – known as long Covid. Others still have symptoms such as breathlessness, fatigue and brain fog many weeks or months later.

Thousands of people in the North West continue to struggle with the effects of long Covid and clinicians need additional people to volunteer to help them find out more about this often-debilitating condition.

Professor Nawar Bakerly, respiratory clinical lead at the Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire Strategic Clinical Networks, as well as respiratory consultant at the Salford Royal Hospital, is leading long Covid research in the region as part of a campaign called Help BEAT Coronavirus.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: “We urgently need more people who suffer from long Covid to register for our campaign and help us find out more about the condition, so we can help the thousands of people still suffering from its effects.

“For some people, long Covid is a temporary experience. For others, it is badly affecting their health and wellbeing, with some people being too sick to work or exercise.”

People can register now online at www.researchforthefuture.org/register or text RESEARCH and YOUR NAME to 81400.

Related topics: