Wigan fitness studio owner and nurse wants to help Long Covid patients

Jessica Holt, who owns The Studio in Standish and is also an intensive care nurse, wants to bring her two talents together to support residents still struggling months after initially contracting the novel coronavirus.
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Long Covid campaign groups have told harrowing stories of people who are still extremely ill and face an array of debilitating symptoms following their brush with Covid-19.

Jessica, who has been volunteering on the intensive care unit at Wigan Infirmary throughout the pandemic when her fitness centre has had to close, says she hopes her skills will help people facing a long road to recovery.

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Jessica, 36, said: “My background is in nursing and I’ve helped out on the intensive care unit.

Jessica Holt outside the Standish fitness studio she ownsJessica Holt outside the Standish fitness studio she owns
Jessica Holt outside the Standish fitness studio she owns

“There’s still so much we don’t know about Covid and the effects it has on people long-term. Whether they’ve had a hospital stay or not some people experience symptoms which are very debilitating.

People who have previously been really fit and well are now struggling. They are experiencing really significant cardiovascular disease, neurological dysfunctions.

“People with long Covid are finding it hard to get going and are putting pressure on themselves to get back to how they were before. They need to understand how to bridge that gap and support that process.

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“It’s not a case of going back to the gym and going hard, that’s not how Covid works. There’s potential to do damage with that.

Jessica Holt working as a nurse in intensive careJessica Holt working as a nurse in intensive care
Jessica Holt working as a nurse in intensive care

“With my nursing knowledge I would like to be able to offer a unique approach to helping people in the local community who have developed symptoms of long Covid.”

Jessica says she wants to speak to local long Covid campaigners and groups and then potentially set up some sessions for sufferers, with the options of online and virtual programmes or bringing them to the fitness centre once it is allowed to reopen.

Jessica described what it has been like to work on the intensive care unit in Wigan during the pandemic.

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She said: “I’ve been a nurse for 12 years and worked in intensive care for eight years and have never experienced anything like this.

“It is exhausting emotionally, physically and mentally. The hardest thing is seeing families and relatives having to say goodbye on Face Time.

“You look around at people who are so young and have so little medical history. They are the last people you would expect to become poorly. That is very hard to accept.

“It’s just very sad because positive outcomes are few and far between. You feel like you are swimming through treacle.”

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