As part of our resolve to celebrate the real heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, the men and women, doctors and nurses who are providing care to the sick in these times. we bring you the true story of a survivor – a doctor – Men who are willing to lay down their lives that many more may live.
We salute this hero, a soldier in our health defence forces!
I wanted to be silent about this.
But since it’s already on Radio and TV stations and the concerns about my health by many who have reached out, it has become imperative for me to tell my COVID-19 milieu.
Here’s the story…
One Alhaji BZ (not real names initials) came to our hospital on Friday, 10th April, 2020. He had COVID-19. Unknown to us all.
While evaluating him, he was asked, “How can we help you, sir?”
He replied, “I’ve been having fever and general body weakness, mouth dryness, loss of appetite.”
Inquired, “For how long now?”
He replied “For some days?
More questions,”Do you have cough, breathlessness or palpitations?”
Alhaji BZ replied, “No”, I don’t have any of that.”
Many other medical questions were asked and documented.
Furthermore, “Did you travel recently?”
He denied, “No.”
He was further evaluated, examined and admitted into a private room upstairs on Friday 10th, April 2020 at about 7:30pm by my boss.
He had contact with two doctors (my boss and I), three nurses and one non-medical staff.
It was unknown to us that he was alleged to have travelled abroad too before returning to my resident state. Via Abuja travelling by road. While travelling by road he stayed briefly in Kaduna before arriving my resident state on the 25th March, 2020.
He denied this travel history to us.
He also denied about the pertinent Coronavirus symptoms – breathlessness and cough. He also hid the fact that he had been to several medical outlets since his return to the state.
And importantly, he did not provide information that his samples were taken by NCDC for COVID-19 testing before coming to us.
Of course he denied all the above in order for him to have our medical care.
Putting us all and many others at high risk of the novel pandemic.
We also learnt that during his illness before coming to us, he was attending Friday Mosque prayers, naming ceremonies and other gatherings.
I was not on duty the following day.
But I learnt while he was on admission in our facility, the next day Saturday had a dramatic entrance into our facility by health officials with Police presence.
The major road around the hospital was blocked and made a Security Restricted area. The officials told said the hospital had a man in our facility that just tested positive for COVID-19.
Luckily, my boss, a renown Neurosurgeon, who was still in theatre, about rounding up a delicate Spinal Cord Pedicle Screw Fixation + Laminectomy surgery had to be told.
He disrobed. And met the officials.
There was an order from the authorities to lock down the hospital immediately to prevent further spread.
Alhaji B Z was whisked away to a quarantine centre outskirt of the state.
We were placed on isolation too in our hospital facility. Samples were taken from our staff for covid-19 testing.
For many days, we could not physically reach our families or anyone.
Isolated up in the hospital, the waiting began. Days rolled by.
Anxiety. All thoughts crept in.
At some point, my boss and I told ourselves that if it’s either positive or negative, we will beat the disease.
In fact we told ourselves that “even if its death, so what!!! We will be dying while in service to humanity.”
When the days rolled by, we began to have some peace. In fact we were playing Fela Anipolakuti’s music loudly. I also had Gospel and several country music played. For many days.
Then the tension began.
The result of our COVID-19 was to be released in a few more days.
The music volume daily became louder. 😂Phone calls and prayers from family and friends were enormous.
At last the result came out yesterday afternoon.
And it was NEGATIVE for all the staff.
We are still in isolation. Two Police vehicles have been outside our gates since all these started. They were excited yesterday when our result was released and found to be negative. They are waiting for directives to let us go home.
We thank Almighty God for everything.
We will keep saving lives. No matter the cost.