Oakham woman urges people to get both vaccinations after living 'worst nightmare' when family got Covid-19
A woman is urging people to get their Covid-19 vaccination after living through her ‘worst nightmare’.
The Scott family, who live in Oakham, have recently felt first-hand the effects the Delta strain of coronavirus can have.
After returning from a family holiday to Devon, Antonia and Murray’s eldest child, Jack, began to feel unwell.
The 14-year-old said: “I thought I just had really bad hayfever with sore eyes and a blocked nose, but when I got a cough and felt really breathless, I did a test at home before school on Monday morning and was really surprised when it was positive almost straight away.
“My mum asked me to do three lateral flow tests to make sure it was correct.”
Jack, a pupil at Stamford School, had his result confirmed by a PCR test and began to self-isolate from the rest of his family members.
But days later sister Sofia, 13, an Oakham School pupil, and then younger brother Raffa, 11, a pupil at Ketton Primary, became ill despite previously testing negative.
While Antonia was worried about her children, another concern was that she has a lung condition, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), making her very vulnerable.
The 47-year-old mum said: “Luckily I’m double vaccinated. This was always my dread as obviously it affects the respiratory system.
“With my family testing positive there was nowhere to hide but like any mother, if your children are ill you go to them.”
Antonia was eligible for her first vaccination in March because of her illness, and got her second dose in May.
Murray, 47, had his first jab in April and his second was booked for this week but he then became extremely unwell with the virus. Antonia had to call 111 on one occasion due to him struggling to breathe.
Murray, who is a keen rugby player and is self-employed, said: “It’s not just a respiratory virus, it has caused severe bad pain, swollen joints and extreme tiredness.”
Antonia described her husband as being ‘floored’ by the virus and that the one vaccine hasn’t ‘touched the sides’.
He will now not get his second vaccination until August because you have to wait 30 days following a positive test.
Antonia, who works in admissions at Oakham School, was also surprised at the severity of the symptoms her family were, and still are, suffering with, which she believes is due to it being a different strain.
She said: “I’m very used to positive cases and children isolating but they rarely have symptoms any worse than the common cold. This is more like the flu or a chest infection.
“Still now my eldest two who have had  days isolation are not well. They are achy and very pale.
“No-one has any idea what this new variant is doing.
“It’s rapidly moving down the generation and that’s what concerns me. These are young, fit, healthy children.”
Throughout the isolation period, Antonia has been constantly cleaning the house and surfaces which are touched.
In a ‘scientific experiment’, the children swabbed the handles and surfaces around the house with the lateral flow test, which then came up positive. They believe this shows just how transmissible the virus is and the importance of washing hands and cleaning surfaces thoroughly.
“This was always my worst nightmare, having covid bought into the house, but it was out of my control,” said Antonia.
The family has also highlighted the importance of taking the lateral flow tests twice a week, to identify positive coronavirus cases.
Antonia said: “If we hadn’t have done the test, three children would be going to three different schools and me in a work environment, 200 plus people would have been affected by our selfish actions.”
Having seen her children experience the symptoms from the Delta variant, Antonia believes the younger generation, under 18s, should be offered the vaccination.
She said: “I would say it’s so important to get the vaccine.
“I have had two and been in the house with four people that are covid positive, and the vaccine has protected me.”
Antonia added: “I would encourage any parent to get it if it’s offered. The flu jab was all quite new 10 years ago but now we think nothing of it.”