30 YO Covid-19 Survivor: Being Wholesome & Main A Good Life-style Would not Imply You may Be Protected [OPINION]

Interviewed & written by
Jerry Tan
Intercalating medical pupil at Newcastle College


Final December, I began feeling unwell whereas getting ready for an examination. This sickness was sudden, and was not like something I had ever skilled. By day three, I had a fever, joint aches and was feeling very weak. I quickly developed a dry cough and respiratory difficulties, which fearful me as I had pre-existing bronchial asthma.

Regardless of all this, I made a decision to powerful it out till my exams had been over.

A number of days later, I went to a clinic and was requested to take a RTK Antibody check. To be sincere, I had been taking my sickness flippantly with none suspicion that one thing critical was happening. I used to be younger and wholesome, I stayed house as a lot as attainable – and on the uncommon event after I left the home for groceries, I at all times had a masks on. My bronchial asthma was additionally well-controlled and I had even run marathons prior to now.

So it got here as a whole shock after I obtained a name telling me that I had examined optimistic for Covid-19 antibodies.

(Credit score: Freepik)

My household panicked after I advised them the information. All of us needed to take RTK Antibody assessments which returned optimistic. Fortunately, my mom and sister had been asymptomatic, however my father had began to point out some gentle signs.

The clinic known as us to tell us to quarantine at house till we obtained additional directions.

I didn’t have the posh to attend for additional directions; that night time, my situation deteriorated quickly and I used to be quickly gasping for air.

Sungai Buloh Hospital.
(Credit score: Yusof Mat Isa/Malay Mail)

My father frantically drove me to Hospital Sungai Buloh, the place I used to be instantly referred to the Covid-19 triage space. My bronchial asthma had been exacerbated by the an infection, so I used to be admitted to the Excessive Dependency Unit.

By way of the thick, clear sheets separating my mattress from the others, I may faintly make out glimpses of the opposite sufferers – some had been too weak to make a sound, and others couldn’t appear to cease coughing. I even noticed a affected person handcuffed to his mattress – had he been referred as a prisoner?

I used to be placed on oxygen and given intravenous steroids, then the medical personnel carried out some investigations. The ward was calm regardless of the dire state of affairs the sufferers had been in, but everybody took their job critically. Donning full PPE, they made positive to sanitise all the things that had been touched. I simply sat in mattress, alternating between staring on the clock and the employees, as I persevered by the scariest time of my life.

I couldn’t bear to shut my eyes; after I did, I felt dying knocking at my door.

It was the primary time that I had felt so weak and breathless regardless of dwelling with bronchial asthma for years. They are saying that ‘your life flashes earlier than your eyes if you find yourself about to die’ – and true sufficient, I began reflecting on my life throughout that point. No medication can treatment a Covid-19 an infection. I may solely depend on my spirit and physique to struggle the sickness.

About 24 hours later, I used to be secure sufficient to be transferred to a common Covid-19 ward. I lastly managed to sleep after being semi-conscious for greater than a day. My physique was someway each shivering and sweating, and I used to be too weak to stroll. I observed myself to be the youngest individual on this new ward – everybody round me was above 40 years outdated and had comorbidities.

We had been too frail to make dialog, so we largely sat in silence. I may solely abdomen small parts of meals as I had no sense of style and scent, nor urge for food.

My situation stabilised after three days within the ward as I solely required my inhaler each 4 hours. I not shivered and sweat profusely, I used to be positively extra energised. I used to be transferred to the low-risk therapy centre on the close by Nationwide Leprosy Centre.

Sungai Buloh’s outdated leprosy centre transformed to a Covid-19 ward.
(Credit score: @DGHisham/Fb)

The employees not often got here into the ward, speaking with us from one other room by a phone. I truly had the ‘privilege’ of being situated proper subsequent to the phone, and I overheard snippets of conversations between the sufferers and employees, starting from arguments about our dwelling circumstances to the arrival of Grabfood deliveries!

The surroundings right here was positively extra cheerful, with individuals as younger as school-aged youngsters milling about. I attempted to make dialog however was nonetheless too weak to speak, so I saved to myself for more often than not. I ended up staying within the centre for a few week, the place I recovered my urge for food and will later breathe and discuss simply. Quickly sufficient, I used to be discharged.

I’ve now utterly recovered from the sickness, however I’m nonetheless cautious of overexerting myself.

I’ve utmost respect for our frontliners, as they’ve been nothing however targeted and detail-oriented of their work regardless of the challenges they face. I even noticed the employees clear up after a affected person who had dirty himself on the mattress!

This is the reason it irks me when many distinguished voices downplay the severity of Covid-19 or say {that a} vaccine isn’t essential. I began a Twitter thread to unfold consciousness on what crucial Covid-19 sufferers like myself face, in response to the lackadaisical perspective of many Malaysians. What I need to emphasise probably the most is that this: Being wholesome and main a superb way of life doesn’t imply you’ll be secure from the virus.


Fahmi, 30 years outdated: a Covid-19 survivor.
(Credit score: Malaysian Medics Worldwide)

Fahmi was interviewed by Jerry Tan for this piece. Jerry is an intercalating medical pupil at Newcastle College with a eager curiosity in psychological well being and medical analysis.

Consent has been obtained from the interviewee for the aim of this publication. The writer has rewritten the article with permission from the interviewee.

Jerry Tan.
(Credit score: Malaysian Medics Worldwide)

This publication is at the side of Malaysian Medics Worldwide (MMI)’S MMI Covid Taskforce Venture. MMI is a world medical student-led organisation that goals to attach, educate, and domesticate. With a world community of greater than 200 leaders from seven nations world wide, MMI is an energetic advocate for inclusivity and variety, reform in medical training, and the welfare of junior docs and medical college students. Info relating to the challenge may be discovered at @mmi_social on Instagram.


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