Eden Shorthouse, 13, in isolation at home
Eden Shorthouse, 13, in isolation at home

‘Wouldn’t wish it on anybody’: Qld family Covid-19 stricken

A REDLANDS mother has shared her family's frightening experience with COVID-19, describing the breathlessness, fatigue and exhaustion suffered by herself, her husband and their 13-year-old daughter after contracting the virus.

Paul, Michele and Eden Shorthouse returned home from a holiday to Belgium and the UK on March 28 and started feeling unwell a couple of days later.

Paul, 56, was the first to test positive, then Michele, 53, and Eden started to feel unwell too.

"Paul was the first one to go down with it, and he fell pretty hard and fast, and I followed suit," Mrs Shorthouse told The Sunday Mail.

"Eden seemed to be travelling quite well but it is a very infectious virus, and one morning she woke up not feeling well, with a scratchy throat and the sniffles, a mild fever and the cough as well.

"About day two or three she developed the breathlessness."

Mrs Shorthouse said she contacted the Queensland Children's Hospital as soon as Eden's symptoms appeared, and a nurse was sent out immediately, with a test coming back positive on April 5.

The Thornlands family said having the virus was horrible and difficult to describe.

"The coughing is quite intense, but for us the fatigue is the biggest thing,'' she said.

"You can do a few little things, then you hit a brick wall and you need to have a nap.

"It can be frustrating but the doctors and nurses encouraged us not to be too hard on ourselves, as your body is fighting hard to recover."

 

Paul, Michele and Eden Shorthouse on their European holiday
Paul, Michele and Eden Shorthouse on their European holiday

 

Mrs Shorthouse said she and her husband thought they were improving in the first week, but then their respiratory systems worsened and they started to experience breathlessness in the second week.

"We haven't had to be hospitalised, which we are very grateful for," she said.

Queensland Health figures show 14 children aged 0-9 years and 34 children aged 10-19 years have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Queensland since the outbreak began.

Nationally, 72 children aged 0-9 and 194 aged 10-19 have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Mrs Shorthouse said Eden "bounced back" a lot quicker than she and her husband, but still wasn't feeling 100 per cent.

Eden said she was still sneezing and feeling more tired than usual.

"Just putting on a shirt can make you feel tired, it's hard to explain," she said.

"I've been trying to run around and play with my dogs, but just running around and going up and down the stairs, you do get very breathless.

"I would really like to thank the nurses at the Children's Hospital, they've been facetiming me every two days and asked me about my symptoms and have been very upbeat, they've been really lovely."

 

 

Despite taking precautions, Mrs Shorthouse said she believed the family contracted the virus on their 16½-hour flight home from London to Darwin, saying the plane was full of coughing and sneezing passengers.

The family is now in day 22 of forced home isolation and say they are not able to leave their home until they have been symptom-free for 72 hours and receive certification from their doctor.

"We are super grateful to be at home, in our own back yard with our two dogs," Mrs Shorthouse said.

"Family and friends have been very supportive and amazing, they've all offered to help us out by dropping things at the front gate.

"And Queensland Health have been fabulous, we can't fault their care."

The family's message to others is to stay home, wash your hands and stick to the rules around social distancing.

"Paul and Eden and I wouldn't wish this on anybody - stay home and follow the rules," Mrs Shorthouse said.

 

 

 

Originally published as 'Wouldn't wish it on anybody': Girl, 13, and family stricken


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