A Church of Scotland minister has said she is thrilled to have received the Covid-19 vaccine after becoming extremely ill with the virus. Rev Julie Rennick said the injection was painless and urged everyone who is eligible to receive it.
Speaking about her ordeal, Rev Rennick who's 60 said: "I am very relieved to have got the vaccine because when I got the virus in April last year it completely floored me and was a terrifying experience.
“I had a really high temperature, pain in every one of my joints and it felt like there was a wet sponge in my nose that I had to breathe through.
“Every breath was just a horrible gasping and at one point I thought I would have to write a letter to my three adult sons because I did not know if I could ever speak to them again.
“That was terrifying, a real dark night of the soul moment.”
Rennick, who pastors Larbert West Parish Church in Forth Valley, said she was struck down with the symptoms of so-called "long Covid" - which refers to the long-standing effects of the virus - in the months after catching it.
“Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, post viral fatigue, call it what you like, it is utterly debilitating,” she said.
“For short amounts of time I was able to act like a ‘normal’ person but the payback comes in a wave of overwhelming fatigue that will wash over me, threatening to drown me.
“At its worst, I struggled to climb the stairs to even get to my bed.”
Rennick said that the only good thing to come out of her Covid ordeal was that it allowed for more times of quiet reflection and prayer.
"Time to talk with God, time to pause and simply be,” she explained.
“I am aware of God's presence alongside me waiting for me to regroup, no pressure just love and presence.
“So COVID-19 can be horrendous for people and it is imperative that we stop the spread once and for all."
More than 200,000 have been infected with Covid since the pandemic began. Sadly, over 7,000 have died.
The Church of Scotland joined forced with a number of faith leaders to produce a video encouraging people to take the vaccine: