One 48-year-old mother-of-three from East London has revealed how the virus left her with a deadly heart condition – quite possibly for life. Almost nine weeks after her ‘cold symptoms’ struck, doctors diagnosed dilated cardiomyopathy – Covid-19 had caused severe inflammation of the heart muscles, making it harder for it to pump blood around the body.

Doctors also found severe scarring to both of her lungs. The woman, who did not want to be named, says: ‘I’ve been told that most cases improve gradually, but some require a pacemaker in future – and occasionally, a heart transplant. I still fight for breath and I get nausea and dizziness so severe that if I sit up, I have to lie back down again. I can only sleep on my right side, to relieve pressure on the heart.’

Other lingering repercussions include chronic memory loss, a swollen left eye and a strange, stabbing pain in her left leg.