GP spends £6,000 treating daughter, 11, with long Covid abroad as ‘no help in UK’
Respiratory consultant Dr Binita Kane said her daughter’s first episode of Covid in 2021 was mild but “she never fully recovered”.
A doctor whose 11-year-old daughter has long had Covid says she spent £6,000 on treatment in Germany because there is no help available in the UK.
Respiratory consultant Dr Binita Kane, who sits on the independent SAGE committee, rushed her daughter Jasmin to A&E with extreme abdominal pain three weeks after she tested positive for Covid in January last year.
Dr Kane, 44, said: ‘Like most children, she had a fairly mild initial illness. She never really got over it.
“She had great fatigue, a sore throat, aches and pains in her legs… she was unable to function. She would recover, and then it would happen again.
Some 125,000 children aged 2 to 16 said they had had long Covid in the four weeks to April 3.
Dr Kane fought for six months to get his daughter treated by the NHS, but none were available.
SHARED CONTENT UNIT)
She said: “She had the whole barrage of tests done but they all came back normal. Then she was sent to a clinic that only offers fatigue management. It’s important to know how to manage fatigue, but that alone won’t improve its symptoms.
Jasmin’s father, Mark, gave up his business to care for her and her nine-year-old sister Maya full-time.
And in February, Dr Kane took Jasmin to Germany to get a treatment that was not yet available in the UK.
After three visits, Dr. Kane says Jasmin is “50%” of her old self.
She said: “In the UK I got all the help available. Everyone was helpful, but there were no responses.
“There are horribly sick children in the UK, some completely debilitated and bedridden.”
About Jasmin’s German treatment, she said: “These are not drugs that are often used in children. I’m not saying what it is because I don’t want people to copy the prescription – it’s not without risks.
“But within two weeks it started to improve his symptoms significantly.”
Dr Kane said the UK was two years away from offering the drug to children.
Sammie Mcfarland, CEO of Long Covid Kids, said of the group’s 10,000 families, hardly any children were recovering and accused the government of looking at children “after the fact”.
The Department of Health said the NHS has 90 specialist sites dealing with long Covid, including 14 pediatric centres.
He said: “The UK is leading the way in research, treatment, care and guidance, including for children.”