GREAT JOB: Lorraine Carline with some of the thank you cards and messages
GREAT JOB: Lorraine Carline with some of the thank you cards and messages

A NURSE from Evenwood has spoken about her battle with Covid-19 and the difficulty of not being able to cuddle her three young children while being quarantined.
Lorraine Carline, a children’s ward nurse at Darlington Memorial Hospital, was relegated to her bedroom for two weeks as she suffered the symptoms brought on by coronavirus.
The health worker, who started at Bishop Auckland Hospital after qualifying on 2005 and moved to Darlington Hospital in 2010, came down with the illness on Wednesday, April 8.
She said: “I woke up with a sore throat but I am prone to tonsillitis so I thought nothing of it. When I started the night shift I felt a bit hot. They took my temperature and it was 38.8 so they put a mask on me and sent me home straight away.
The following day, the mother of three went to a drive-through testing station and two days later it was confirmed she had contracted Covid-19.
Describing how the illness developed Mrs Carline said: “The first night I felt fine, just a little hot. It was a couple of days later that I started to feel queasy.
“I vomited constantly for four days – I couldn’t hold anything down. I lost a stone in weight – but it is not a diet I would recommend to anyone.
“They say the main symptom is a cough. I didn’t have a cough but it felt like I had pressure on my chest – like someone was sitting on my chest.”
One of the worst symptoms was a terrible pain in her back, between her shoulder blades.”
It wasn’t until the seventh day that her health started to improve. The days proved particularly hard on her children – Joel, 11, Lucas, 8, and Isabelle, 6. Mrs Carline said: “It was hard for them. They never saw me except through the bedroom window.”
Compounding the problem was that the children also had to go into quarantine and the whole family was stuck at home.
However, with regular deliveries by Mrs Carline’s sister, Elaine Smith, who is also a nurse, the family was kept well stocked with supplies.
The grateful mum said there were a lot of cuddles when the symptoms cleared after nine days.
Last week she returned to night shift at Darlington Hospital where a special unit has been set up in Ward 21 for children who have Covid-19. She admitted: “It was a little bit scary after the last few weeks.”
However, Mrs Carline and her colleagues have taken comfort from the nationwide Thursday evening clap for the NHS. She said: “We love it – we really do. It is nice to know there are people who appreciate what we do. It is a nice boost.” Also appreciated are the supermarkets and shops which allow NHS staff quick entry to do their shopping, which is particularly welcome when they have finished a nightshift. Some doctors and staff at Darlington are working up to 60 hours a week, she said. She added: “We are very much appreciative of that.”
She paid tribute to her husband, Paul, who looked after the children so well through a difficult period and her sister who delivered the food parcels.