Sarah Ashley, 38 She soldiered on through illness, but fears she may have spread the virus
When she woke up on Monday morning the week before last, Sarah Ashley thought she was suffering from a hangover. When it dragged into the following day, the 38-yearold thought it was a lingering symptom of her weekend away.
“I was just so exhausted and thought I just needed some early nights,” she remembers. “I was in bed both those nights by 9.30pm, which is not me.”
Her cough began on the Wednesday, a dry bark from deep in the lungs, and on the Thursday she decided to work from home. That day the government asked people with a new continuous cough to selfisolate. “I spoke to my mum … I was like: that’s you, that’s me.”
Ashley, from Bedford, could not reach her GP; she left messages that no one returned. She called 111 and was told to stay at home. She was not offered a test. By Saturday her chest was tight. “It felt like someone was standing on it.” Ashley’s friends began to suffer similar symptoms and on Sunday, her best friend’s sister, a mother of one, aged 25, was struggling to breathe.