Jemma Parkinson, 36, struggled to breathe after testing positive for COVID-19 in November last year and was rushed to hospital. The mother was put on a ventilator and, after she caught associated pneumonia, her condition deteriorated.
Jemma was put into a coma for three weeks and three days – ending on January 1, 2022 – missing both Christmas and New Year’s Eve with partner Alan, 35, and their four-year-old daughter Sienna.
“I didn’t want to get out of bed on Christmas morning, it was the last thing I wanted to do, but I thought I had to be strong for Sienna and Jemma,” Alan said today.
“I prayed every day that Jemma would get better.
“Being home without her was so tough, I broke down three or four times a day crying. Sienna would ask ‘daddy are you okay?’ which was just so sad.”
Alan was unable to visit his spouse due to Covid restrictions, Manchester Evening News reports, but she battled to overcome the disease and was taken home on January 8.
Alan, who is a HGV driver, continued: “She’s gone really weak and has lost a lot of feeling on her left hand side.
“Leaving bed is hard enough and she has lost all confidence with walking, it’s so upsetting to see.
“When we picked her up from hospital she was very quiet which was very strange for our daughter.
“The doctors say she will get better over time but it could take a while.”
Jemma, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, has now conceded she should have got the Covid jab.
The stay-at-home mum added: “We never made it a priority. We should have done.
“People should definitely go and get it (Covid jab). People need to be more aware of Covid in general. I think, a lot of people still don’t see how severe it can be.
“I’m just so thankful for all the nurses and doctors at the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) in Stepping Hill Hospital, they saved my life.”
The hospital admission rate of COVID-19-confirmed patients in England was at 19.03 per 100,000 people in the week ending January 9, 2022. Hospital admissions and deaths were highest among those aged 75 and over, Office for National Statistics says.
It’s less prevalant in Jemma’s age group but Alan admits his partner was “so lucky” as her prognosis looked bleak last month.
The dad continued: “She is so lucky, the doctors were very doubtful a few times whether Jemma would make it, they really didn’t know which was it was going to go. I couldn’t be more thankful to them all.
“All the doctors were brilliant, I would ring four or fives time a day to check on her and they’d always let me know.”
But the family live in a third-floor flat and Jemma now feels “trapped” as she’s still weak.
Stockport Homes, which manages the accommodation, is working with the couple to find a solution.
Alan said: “We’ve been told by our GP that we need a different property as she can’t use that many stairs to get in or out of the building, it could be years before she’s fully fit again.
“We came out of hospital thinking we would get some support but have been given absolutely none from Stockport Homes.
“It took two of us more than 30 minutes to get Jemma up the stairs coming back from hospital. I shouldn’t even be helping as I’ve got a heart condition too.
“Every time we have an appointment now we’ve been told to ring an ambulance so they can help us get out of the house which seems like a massive waste of an ambulance that could be doing more important jobs.
“We’ve been told it could be at least eight months before any sort of replacement property is found so they said there was no point.
“What if there was an emergency and we needed to get Jemma out fast? It’s not safe at all.
“It was even suggested we buy chairs to put at the top of each flight of stairs to have a rest each time which is a joke.
“All we want is some support after what we’ve been through.”
Director at Stockport Homes Group, Si Welch, said: “We are extremely sorry to hear that this tenant has been ill with Covid. As part of our obligations as a landlord, we are dedicated to making the property safe and ensuring the tenants are as comfortable as possible too.
“In relation to this particular property, we have taken several positive actions with the aim of trying to make the tenant feel at ease.
“We have referred the tenant to Adult Social Care and an Occupational Therapist has visited the home and made plans for adaptations in many rooms, which will allow the tenant to be mobile.
“Following our referral to the GM Fire and Rescue service, they have visited the property to ensure that it’s got everything it needs to be safe as well and making sure the tenants could leave the property in an emergency.
“Our Independent Living Officer visited the property yesterday to collect medical evidence in support of the re-housing application and we are working with the tenants on progressing this.”