Young Citizen: Teen nominated after revealing Covid fight to inspire jabs

Areeb Khan

Areeb Khan has spoken out about her battle with Covid-19 - Credit: BHRUT

A teenage girl has been nominated for a Young Citizen award after revealing her remarkable battle with Covid in a bid to encourage others to get vaccinated.

Areeb Khan, 16, from Chadwell Heath, is now on the road to recovery after spending months in hospital with the virus.

She is the latest nominee for the Ilford Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Young Citizen Awards, which bids to recognise the outstanding achievements of young people in the borough aged 25 and under.

Areeb was taken to King George Hospital after collapsing and first suffering Covid symptoms in July.

Her oxygen levels were below half and her parents were told she was critically ill and would have to be transferred to Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge for treatment called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation - described as a "last hope" for Covid patients.

Areeb said: "Hope was very low. I started responding and was taken off the machine, but then I became very poorly and had to go back on it."

She was moved to Queen's Hospital, Romford in October and is re-learning skills such as walking, which she is having to do with support.

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She said her story "shows you can come back".

"I lost hope at times but I had a good outcome.

“I never would have thought I could get through such an experience, but I feel mentally and physically stronger now."

Areeb, who is planning to take a gap year before taking her A-levels, felt her story should encourage other people to get jabbed.

“I was given a 50/50 chance of survival, which was very hard for my family.

"I’ve been in hospital so long, I just want to do normal things."

Each month’s nominee will be invited to the Mayor’s Community Awards night, where an overall winner will be announced. 

The overall winner will receive £100 from Redbridge Rotary Club and will, along with the runner-up, go through to the national Young Citizen final run by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland. 

To nominate someone, contact michael.cox@archant.co.uk at the Recorder or visit https://www.redbridgerotaryclub.org/contact giving information about the nomination and contact details.