A DOCTOR from Salisbury District Hospital who became seriously ill after contracting coronavirus has now returned to work.

Clinical psychologist Kate Jenkins had shared a powerful account of her experience of suffering from Covid-19 shortly after being discharged.

Thanks to the care received by her own colleagues and the time she spent recovering at home, the 42-year-old is now back on the ward.

She said: "It’s been a whirlwind few days since I was discharged from Salisbury Hospital having been treated by colleagues for COVID-19.

"Since writing for the Journal I have been able to talk about my experience and the brilliant staff on both radio and TV. This is not something I ever thought would happen but it has given me an opportunity to both express thanks to the staff and explore the psychological impact the coronavirus had on me.

"Coming back to work triggered lots of different feelings. Excited to be back in the swing of things, nervous about whether I would be able to cope, anxious about what I needed to catch up on.

"And I realised that I had underestimated how much physical recovery I still need. I got out of breath walking the corridors at my usual speed while at the same time trying to talk to colleagues - I needed to either walk or talk, I clearly couldn’t do both!

"One of the first things I did was to visit the ward that had cared for me. I took some goodies for the staff and a card expressing my gratitude for their care and compassion. I was emotional going back but it was good to see them and I knew I needed to make the visit sooner rather than later.

"I have also had some moving encounters with colleagues who knew I had been ill - many virtual hugs have been exchanged.

"There’s a lot to catch up on and it’s going to be hard not to charge ahead at full speed. Recovery is a marathon not a sprint and I owe it to my colleagues and my family to take things at a sensible pace. I’ve got to remember what I teach others in resilience training and use my own strategies to full effect. Physician heal thyself.

"Luckily I’m in a really supportive team and the whole feeling in the hospital is one of encouragement and empathy.

"It’s great to feel useful again."