KIDNEY transplant hopeful Melanie Wellbelove was able to return to her job as the manager of Devizes gym on Saturday for the first time in four months.

Mel, who has been in isolation at home since March, was delighted to be back at Route2Fitness gym on the Hopton Industrial Estate.

The gym opened a week earlier but she had to wait an extra seven days before she, and millions of others at most risk, were given the green light by the Government to leave their homes.

She said: “I was thrilled to get back to work after being stuck indoors since March. It has been great catching up with our members and they all want to know how I am.

“I am hoping being back at work isn’t too much of a shock to my system. The gym has been nice and busy since we opened.

“I am so pleased members have been keen to come in an exercise. We have a whole new one-way system and electric hand sanitsers everywhere.

“I feel safer here than anywhere else.”

During lockdwon she kept a blog of her progress and told of how difficult isolating was for her mental health.

She was in a huge amount of discomfort and had to go on dialysis many times a day. Back in April she wrote in her blog: “I have been on dialysis for 16 months and 11 days and its finally hit me with a bang. This isolation from my normal routine has left me feeling almost panicky.”

But this week she said: “I think my mental state will improve now I am back to work. Lockdown really did not suit me.”

Mel, 49, who lives in Devizes, started on the journey to getting a new kidney last year and is paired with her sister Helen Hopgood in the programme. Helen was not a close enough match to give her own kidney to her sister but will give it to someone else she is paired with allowing Mel to get one from someone else. But because of coronavirus the transplant list was suspended and is yet to be re-activated.