All expatriates saw death from close quarters and said they wouldn’t have made it if it was not for the superlative care they received in UAE.
Survivors of severe cases of Covid-19 hailed the efforts of the country’s authorities and medical teams in giving them a new lease of life.
From being on oxygen support for several days to being in coma, these Covid survivors – all expatriates – saw death from close
quarters and said they wouldn’t have made it if it was not for the hope and superlative care they received here in the UAE.
UAE has world’s best healthcare
With a number of co-morbidities such as heart ailments, respiratory failure, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension and obesity, US national Shahid Nawaz, 67, who visits UAE for work every now and then, said he was fearing the worst when he was told his lungs were “badly affected”.
“It began with a simple fever, which initially was taken care of by medication but when I started having breathing difficulties, I got myself tested and the result came negative. Yet it was the farsightedness of the doctors who ‘didn’t want to take any chances’ and admitted me. On the same night at the hospital my oxygen levels dipped and if I wasn’t at the hospital that time, I wouldn’t have survived,” Nawaz told KT.
Nawaz was tested positive the next day and was shifted to the ICU of Adam Vittal Hospital, Dubai. He stayed in the hospital for three weeks.
“To be honest, I have lived in New York for 40 years and keep visiting Dubai to see my brother. But I have never experienced the superlative services anywhere in the world as I experienced at my hospital here. I am fit as a fiddle now, I walk almost eight miles a day without a problem and now in the pink of health I can say and I owe it to the medics of the UAE. My experience here cannot be expressed in words but to sum it all I can say, I was lucky to be in the UAE when Covid-19 struck,” he said.
Doctors kept me motivated in ICU
Dubai resident Vikas, 51, was very particular about following all precautionary measures, and was shocked when he had high fever that refused to subside.
“I didn’t want to imagine I had got the virus, but when my fever persisted and shot up to 104 degrees, I rushed to Medeor Hospital, Dubai. An X-ray of my lungs showed things weren’t normal and the hospital staff did not let me leave the premises. I am grateful for that because the same night I literally collapsed due to high fever and I was put on a ventilator as my condition was said to be ‘critical’, said the Indian expatriate.
A diabetic and slightly overweight Vikas was in coma for a week and had to be placed in a ‘prone position’ (lie flat with the chest down) for 18 to 20 hours every day to pump oxygen in his lungs.
“After one week when I gained consciousness, doctors and nurses would boost my morale and talk to me about my family. They kept me busy and extremely motivated otherwise I do not think I would have survived those days in the ICU.”
“Apart from the hospital, the Dubai Police, the Indian consulate, the DHA officials all kept a check on my family members too as my mother, wife and son had also contracted the virus. Officials from the police called and briefed my wife on the quarantine measures to be taken and instructed her not to allow even our driver inside the house. The authorities took care of my family while I was at the hospital. Where in the world do you find such care and compassion,” said a grateful Vikas.
Thank God, virus caught me here
Abu Dhabi resident Man Bahadur, who works in a supermarket in Abu Dhabi, didn’t know his first ever visit to a hospital would last for over a month.
The perfectly healthy young man’s body almost shut down when he contracted the virus. What he thought was a regular fever, quickly aggravated to pneumonia, leaving him gasping for breath. As his situation deteriorated, the 34-year-old had multi-organ failure, his kidney, liver, lungs and heart were seriously affected and were not functioning properly.
“Although it started with regular fever, it was my cough that was worrisome. My first Covid test was negative and I came back. After a couple of days my cough increased and I started finding it difficult to breathe. This is when I got my second test done and it came positive and I was admitted at Medeor Hospital in Abu Dhabi. I do not remember my first few days in the hospital as I was on the ventilator for 13 days and it is only because of the efforts of the doctors and nurses, I was able to get back to life,” Bahadur, who stayed in the hospital for 36 days, told Khaleej Times.
Calling it a new lease of life, Bahadur said: “I wouldn’t have survived this disease if I was back home as I stay in a village and we do not have any hospital in our area. I am lucky that I am a UAE resident and I am grateful to this country for giving me a second chance at life.”
Helping recovered Covid patients
Dr Shehnas Puthiyaveettil Abu, specialist internal medicine/pulmonary diseases at LLH Hospital, Abu Dhabi, said many who have recovered from the virus at times face shortness of breath, fatigue and muscle pain even now or complain of tiredness of working continuously for eight hours or extended hours, which was comfortable earlier.
“We have started wellness clinics in our hospitals to address these issues of patients who have recovered from Covid-19. The response has been overwhelming. Over 500 patients have visited the clinic in about three weeks. At the wellness clinics, we conduct a complete physical and mental assessment of the patient and refer those requiring special care to specialists. For instance, a person suffering from breathing difficulty will be examined by specialist respiratory medicine. If necessary, the patient will be evaluated by other specialists as well.”
Emphasising on taking care of the mental health of Covid-recovered patients, Dr Adriana Dumitru, specialist critical care, Medcare Hospital, Al Safa, said: “Staying with the family or among those close to them is very important for their mental health, especially after prolonged period of isolation. We encourage our patients to give some time for their bodies to recover but on the other hand to gradually restart their usual routines. In many cases, patients recovering from Covid-19 are left with physical or mental sequels, especially after severe and prolonged forms of the disease. My message for these patients is: You are fighters and you are winners, and you are not alone.
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