Hi, I’m Harry. I was a fit and healthy 29-year-old, and now I have Long Covid.
I’m building Visible because this is what I wish had existed when I got sick 18 months ago. Here’s a little about me and how I got here.
My experience with Long Covid
In September 2020 I had a mild COVID infection. I thought that I had nothing to worry about and I’d recover in no time. I was young, fit and healthy. Everything I heard suggested I would be fine. After all, I’d climbed mountains, cycled across countries, and exercised daily. I thought Covid would be a breeze.
And at first, it was. Within a few days, I started to feel better. But over the following weeks, my symptoms worsened. I had nausea, dizziness, fatigue, severe heart palpitations, and chest pain. I could barely think straight.
For those first few months, I was in and out of hospital and doctors’ appointments. Despite being bed-bound and often struggling to stand, my tests were coming back normal and I was repeatedly told my symptoms were caused by anxiety or deconditioning.
Eventually, I started to believe them, and I swore I would get out of bed and I would push myself every day until I was better. But just 5 days into my attempts at exercise, my symptoms relapsed so severely that I checked myself into hospital. It took me months to recover to my previous baseline and I still haven’t recovered.
Over the last 2 years, the disparity between how sick I was and how little recognition and support was available to me has been alarming. Even more alarming is finding out that my experience is nothing new. We’ve known about post-viral conditions and ME for decades.
On a health quality of life score, these conditions rank as some of the most debilitating in the world. Yet people with these conditions are widely dismissed and massively underserved.
I want to help change that.
The problem we’re solving
Like so many living with these conditions, I’ve learned the hard way that activity doesn’t always make you better. In fact, for these conditions, too much can make you significantly worse.
Anyone who has experienced life with a condition that requires strict pacing will know how hard it can be to avoid doing too much. Many of us have had to turn to fitness trackers to figure out safe and sustainable levels of activity. But these wearables and apps are in no way fit for purpose. They’re designed for athletes, not the chronically sick. They’re designed for workouts and exercise, not rest and pacing.
That’s why we’re building Visible, an activity tracking platform for illness, not fitness.
And at the same time, use this wearable data to drive research forwards and increase our collective understanding of these conditions.
I’m happy to have recovered enough to start building what I believe is badly needed and I’m looking forward to sharing the journey ahead.