As survivors of critical illness ourselves, ICUsteps understand what it means to survive critical illness. We know how long it takes to recover, and we know that despite very different reasons for our critical illness, the experience of critical care and the severity of that illness leaves us facing universally common issues in our journey back to being a normal person again.
We’d like to hear from ICU patients who’ve survived COVID-19 who would be willing to use their experience to help us raise the awareness of the need for support and rehabilitation after we leave hospital.
The pandemic has increased public awareness of intensive care and together with the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, ICUsteps are trying to use this focus to get rehabilitation and support services included as a standard part of the patient journey nationally instead of being a patchy collection of services which are treated like an optional extra.
With all the resources going just to try and help COVID-19 sufferers win the fight for their lives, rehabilitation is even more scarce at the moment, making surviving the virus even harder. We can share our knowledge of survival and rehabilitation to raise this profile, but we need to add the voice of recent patients to make it clear that leaving the ICU isn’t the end of the journey to recovery, it’s the beginning.
Talking about this, particularly to interviewers, can be difficult but our Trustees include two of the country’s leading ICU follow up nurses with over 40 years’ experience between them to help support and safeguard any patient and relative volunteers who can help us.
If you are a COVID-19 survivor willing to use your experience help us to help other patients following on the journey you’ve taken, please get in touch with us through our website and let us know.
Thank you for your support.