An OSWESTRY woman with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has completed a marathon during lockdown to highlight the importance of spotting the condition in its early stages.

Amanda Bebbington ran more than 26 miles on her treadmill last week as part of a challenge with her running club, Oswestry Olympians.

She was diagnosed with the condition four days after her mother died following a battle with COPD herself.

Amanda wants to prove to people how beneficial exercise can be in helping with the quality of life after being diagnosed by raising awareness.

She said: “If people are made aware of the potential long-term effects of things like COPD and Covid-19, it can help people to live a good quality of life by catching these things early.

“I wanted to show people by doing a marathon that you can still live a good quality life if you are able to catch these things early.

“Because of what happened to my mum, alarm bells were ringing quite early for me and I was able to flag it up.

“Despite my diagnosis, through exercising my lung function has increased and this is mainly down to running and strength training.”

Amanda has continued training and improving her condition.

She is keen to give advice to people to help them recognise symptoms early like she did.

“It begins with shortness of breath,” she explained. “People often think ‘it’s just because I’m getting old’, but it’s not.

“The best way I can describe the feeling is it was similar to holding your breath for a while.

“It was like the feeling just before you exhale to start breathing again.

“I noticed it a lot through my running for about 12 months, but nurses dismissed it at first because of my age and because of the amount of running I was able to do.

“My instinct told me something wasn’t quite right though.

“It can make you feel quite anxious with the virus being around – I have had shielding letters myself.”

Amanda’s advice to those who have been instructed to shield is to get exercise in a safe way whenever it is possible to do so and use their intuition as well as medical advice.

She said: “In terms of exercise, I would try not to worry about getting out of breath so much, because you have to exercise to be able to stop the breathlessness.

“But you should always liaise with your doctor and listen to your intuitions.

“You know what feels normal and what doesn’t, and just because of your age, it doesn’t mean you might not have it.”