Mental health awareness charity founder warns about Covid dangers

Stacey Turner of It's OK To Say is training to take part in a charity Channel swim.

Stacey Turner of It's OK To Say was training to take part in a charity Channel swim later this year, but is now suffering from coronavirus. - Credit: Stacey Turner

St Albans charity founder Stacey Turner has issued a stark warning about the dangers of flouting Covid restrictions after being struck down with the virus.

Stacey, 42, the driving force behind the It's OK To Say mental health awareness campaign, was tested positive for coronavirus on December 30, and has experienced extremely severe symptoms over the past few days.

She is currently using a pulse oximeter to check her oxygen saturation levels three times a day in case of any serious deterioration in her condition, which could then require hospital treatment.

Stacey wanted to reveal how the virus had affected her personally in a bid to encourage people to stick to the government restrictions for Tier 4 status areas, including not leaving home without a reasonable excuse to do so.

She said she wanted to describe her symptoms in the Herts Advertiser to highlight to readers just how horrendous they can be: "I'm in a bad way with spiking temperature, a cough, my throat is on fire, my lungs are burning and so painful. It's heartbreaking. I'm nauseous and have lost all taste and smell.

"Sometimes I'm so bad, I'm on the bathroom floor or hunched over the side of the bath focusing on my breathing, all this while listening to my mum's heartbroken voice in Australia feeling helpless and desperately worried.

"I was awake this morning at 5am, vomiting and wheezing, and my stats went a bit funny, but they're back to normal now thankfully."

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She added: "I wish I could tell people to please stay at home. When are people going to stop relying on the government and police to tell them what to do? It's common sense - stay home!"

Prior to becoming infected with coronavirus, Stacey had been taking part in intensive training at Westminster Lodge in St Albans to improve her fitness ahead of a planned cross-Channel swim next summer.

She was due to take part in the event on behalf of the Children's Air Ambulance alongside former international cricketer Monty Panesar, who is a patron of It's OK To Say.