Covid survivor, 16, urges people to get jabbed after months in hospital
- Credit: BHRUT
A teenage girl who has been in hospital for almost four months with Covid has urged others to get vaccinated.
Areeb Khan, 16, said she was given only a 50 per cent chance of survival after contracting the virus just days before her age group became eligible for the jab.
She began having symptoms on July 29, before collapsing and being rushed to King George Hospital.
Her oxygen levels were below half and her parents were told she was critically ill and would have to be transferred to Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge for treatment called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation - described as a "last hope" for Covid patients.
They had to collect her GCSE results for Areeb, from Chadwell Heath.
She said: "I didn’t take it seriously enough before – I had no underlying conditions and even the doctors were shocked that I was so poorly.
"Hope was very low. I started responding and was taken off the machine, but then I became very poorly and had to go back on it.
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“I seemed to take a few steps forward, and then a few more back again; it was a very slow improvement.”
She was moved to Queen's Hospital, Romford in October and is re-learning skills such as walking, which she is having to do with support.
Areeb is now on the road to recovery and plans are underway for her to leave hospital.
She wants people to hear her story, adding: "It shows you can come back. I lost hope at times but I had a good outcome.
“I never would have thought I could get through such an experience, but I feel mentally and physically stronger now and I’m excited to go home.”
She is planning a gap year before starting her A-levels, which she has been unable to take due to her illness.
Her message to people is get jabbed against Covid.
“I wish I could have had the vaccine. I think my story should absolutely encourage others to have it.
“I was given a 50/50 chance of survival, which was very hard for my family.
"I’ve been in hospital so long, I just want to do normal things."