Johanet Sloan, manager of our Orchard Grove reablement centre, shares her personal experience with COVID-19 and why she thinks getting the vaccine is so important.
Johanet started her journey at Brunelcare in 2013 as a Registered Nurse at our Saffron Gardens care home. In 2018, Johanet became manager of neighbouring site, Orchard Grove Reablement Centre. She is a much loved member of the team.
In October, Johanet tested positive for COVID-19 and developed severe symptoms over the few weeks that followed.
“At first I felt a little under the weather, then as things developed I couldn’t eat or drink much, I felt nauseous, experienced a loss of taste but I continued to muddle along. Within a week I felt very unwell, I had laboured breathing so I called an ambulance.”
Johanet was taken to Southmead hospital and stayed there for a week, where she was given oxygen to aid her recovery.
“It was a very scary experience. As a nurse I know when things aren’t going very well so I knew something wasn’t right. I was moved to the respiratory ward and was put on oxygen to help my breathing and fluids as I was dehydrated. I was looked after exceptionally well by the hospital team during my stay.”
Thankfully, Johanet has made a full recovery, she began a phased return in December and returned to work fully the following month. On Johanet’s first day back at Orchard Grove, the team surprised her by lining the entrance of the building and decorating the centre with banners and pictures. They also presented Johanet with flowers to mark her return to work.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all, it was so lovely to be welcomed back by the team!”
In early December, Johanet and other employees at Brunelcare received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. Johanet has since received the second injection and shares why she thinks getting the vaccine is so important:
“When I knew the vaccine was available for healthcare workers, I jumped at the chance to have it. Looking back at the experience I had with Covid, I wouldn’t want any of the people we care for, or my colleagues, to go through what I did. It was very debilitating. It’s important to have the vaccine not just to protect myself, but Orchard Grove’s guests, my colleagues and my family.
The process of receiving the vaccine didn’t take long at all. It went really smoothly, the staff explained everything clearly and we were encouraged to ask any questions. They provide you with plenty of information and monitor you afterwards.”
On December 8th 2020, Brunelcare front-line teams were among the first in the world to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. On December 24th, residents in our care homes began receiving the vaccine. We are continuing to roll out the vaccine to all residents, tenants and employees over the coming months.
“The vaccine has brought hope. Everyone wants to get rid of this virus and the more people that take up the vaccine the quicker we can get back to normality. I also think it’s really important for members of the BAME community to have the vaccine as they are at higher risk of developing more serious symptoms. I know we’re still living through a challenging time, but I believe that thanks to this vaccine there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope.”
For more information about Brunelcare’s response to COVID-19, read our latest statement here.
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