THERE is no glimpse of hope. These are the heartbreaking words of a 13-year-old York girl who has been left bedbound with long Covid.

Two years ago Pixie Bardwell was a fit and healthy 11 year old who had just started secondary school at All Saints RC School in York.

But then she caught Covid and has been left with a long list of debilitating health conditions that have confined her to her home in Woodthorpe and unable to attend school.

When she leaves home, she has to use a wheelchair because of fatigue, dizziness and joint pain.

Pixie, now 13, told The Press: "It's been horrible. I have never really got better since I got Covid two years ago. It's annoying not doing everything my friends can do."

She said the lack of treatments left her feeling hopeless. "They don't know anything to give us. There is no glimpse of hope."

Her mum Mary said Pixie had been diagnosed with long Covid by a paediatric consultant at York Hospital and was now on the waiting list to see a cardiologist at York, with no idea of how long the wait would be.

York Press: Pixie with her mum MaryPixie with her mum Mary (Image: Supplied)

She said it was suspected that Pixie may be suffering from POTS, a heart condition that can make people feel dizzy and prone to fainting, but would need it diagnosed by a specialist.

In the meantime, Pixie's world has shrunk beyond recognition. A tutor visits for three hours of lessons a week in maths, English and science - that is all Pixie can manage. She also gets a weekly visit from a school friend, goes to Guides every week, but watches from the sidelines, and pops into All Saints every fortnight to catch up with school mates at lunchtime.

Her mum Mary said: "It's so sad. If I sit and think, I could cry for her.

"We try to take each day as it comes.

"But we are now used to it. We are used to Pixie not being in school. Used to seeing her in her bedroom."


And she added: "She never complains. She is never bored - she is just too tired."

Luckily Mary, who works part time, and husband Craig, have been able to continue with their jobs. Pixie's gran, Linda, comes to sit with her while she is having her school lessons.

"Some parents of children with long Covid have had to give up their jobs," said Mary.

York Press: Pixie was an active young girl until she developed long CovidPixie was an active young girl until she developed long Covid (Image: Supplied)

Family life has changed too.

Mary said: "When we go out, we go out in a wheelchair. We don't go out as much as we used to."

Pixie lives at home with her mum and dad and big brothers Perry, 16, and Cain, 20. All of them have had Covid, but only Pixie has been left with post-viral problems.

"She has breathlessness, dizziness, knee and ankle pain, lack of appetite - eating exhausts her - and brain fog," said Mary.

Pixie wears braces and a trip to the orthodontist leaves her exhausted for two days afterwards, added Mary.

Holidays and days out are not the same.

Mary said: "We went to Cornwall but after putting on her wetsuit she had to lie down. We went to Filey and she was exhausted from just playing on the 2p machines. A lot of it is to do with mental energy as well as physical energy."

She would like more to be done for long Covid patients - and for the public to be more understanding.

"I do get quite cross. People roll their eyes because it looks like nothing is wrong with her. But there is. She is in a wheelchair and gets people staring at her.

"I just wish there were more investigations and that people took you seriously. Long Covid is a thing - it is lots of different illnesses connected to it.

"At the moment, Pixie is stable because she is not in school. There is just no way she could walk to the bus and go to school and come home again - we would be back at square one."

A spokesperson for York Hopsital said: "We don’t provide a specific long Covid service for under 16s, and people with long Covid may be seen and cared for in primary care, or referred on to more specialist centres."

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