A man who recovered from COVID-19 is advising persons to get vaccinated and take necessary precautions against the virus.
“On this day one year ago I was admitted to the Diamond Covid-19 isolation centre. I had suffered a period of protracted 102 fever and was tested on Good Friday, 2020 in that ambulance on East Street. I got that dreaded call that I was positive for C19 and men in white space suits picked me up and whisked me away two hours later on Easter Saturday.
I was ill. I had some chest pains and joint pains. Diamond was a difficult place. I knew no one and the doctors struggled to cope as the population grew quickly at the centre. One had to dig deep mentally to fight through it. Everyone worried about their families, friends, loved ones. Some worried about their jobs. It was a depressing place.
One got into a routine. Breakfast, a mini check by the doctors, and then some of us would walk on the corridor for exercise. I slowly improved but one night 9 days in after dinner I had a major event after a coughing episode. The pain was excruciating. The doctors came and checked. They gave me meds. A call came and advised that an ambulance was coming for me. I asked where to and they said I was going to the Covid 19 ICU at GPHC.
My first thoughts were that I was a goner.
I packed up and met the ambulance. I couldn’t walk 10 steps without gulping for air. I seem to have gone backwards in hours.
A female doctor was there in the ambulance. She briefed me on what was about to happen. I wasn’t so sure. We arrived at the ICU in Lamaha St. at 11:45 pm on a Tuesday night. I painfully climbed the stairs to the first floor. The male ICU had 6 beds. 3 were occupied, one with a fellow Banks staff. I got to an empty bed and sat down.
Two Doctors immediately approached me. I would not know them now if I saw them. Everyone was in a space suit. The ICU was cold. They started on me. Scan after test after scan. They were professional and thorough. They put my mind at ease. They gave me a series of meds and I started to feel better immediately. Within 12 hours of admission olto the ICU they transferred me out to an adjacent step down room.
I met Neaz Subhan in this location as he struggled with recovery from Covid. It was there on the Thursday afternoon that I witnessed the Doctors valiantly try to save the life of my Banks colleague. Unfortunately, he passed. I was there as Covid took the life of someone I worked with. It was cruel. Painful.
The doctors continued treating me and by the Saturday I had my first test. It came back negative on the Sunday and I was tested again. That test came back negative on Monday and I was released.
Dr. Shaw met me and advised me of the plan to transfer me to my home. I told her it was ok as my family would pick me up. She said no. It was their policy to do the transfer to home as persons did not want to pick up their recovered family members.
The conversation on the horrible stigma experienced back then is another whole story. I experienced it and I understand what the first HIV/AIDS patients experienced when they were first diagnosed years ago.
I would continue to shower praises on Dr. Shaw and the Medical team of a Doctors and Nurses at the GPHC Covid-19 ICU. They were excellent by any measure. They worked really hard to help you.
I had “recovered” by the WHO definition at the time. I was not out of the woods however. That took some time….
Covid-19 is dangerous.
Get that vaccine as soon as possible.”