Tuesday, 31 March 2020 05:35

Lagos has just discharged 5 Coronavirus patients from hospital. One of them recounts her near-death experience

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Lagos State Government on Monday discharged five coronavirus patients who received treatment at Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba.

This is coming days after the government announced that six of the patients had recovered and would be discharged soon.

The total number of those who have recovered is now eight.

According to the state government, the patients, who had been in quarantine for four weeks, were finally discharged after multiple test results showed that they were now fully recovered from the disease.

One of the discharged patients, Oluwaseun Osowobi, who is the director of Stand to End Rape, an organisation fighting against rape in Nigeria, took to Twitter to narrate her experience in the isolation centre.

She said she contracted the virus in the United Kingdom at a post-Commonwealth event.

“Life finds ways of throwing LEMON at me. I’ve struggled coming forward, but I want to inspire hope. I returned to Nigeria from the UK post-Commonwealth event (I totally enjoyed) & fell ill. As a responsible person, I self-isolated. Days after, I TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19.

“Before returning, I had planned several interviews, I was scheduled to start a fantastic consultancy job & was also expecting to sign a contract worth millions. I lost them all!!! I had to self-isolate and also inform people I came in close contact with to get tested. #COVID19.

“My friend & I kept calling @NCDCgov to get tested? What if we didn’t persist? No info on my test result. At 12 a.m, an ambulance was at my house. I woke from sleep & was crying. I got to the isolation center, but no one was there to receive me. I waited in the ambulance for TWO HOURS.”

“The nurses eventually came out & treated me like a plague. I sat in the ambulance feeling rejected. No questions about how I felt. So many questions about my travel history. Same information I had provided to NCDC & Lagos State Government during profiling.”

She said after two hours, she was finally taken in for attention.

“After two hours, I was taken to my space.I felt lonely, bored & disconnected from the outside world. Few days after, another patient came in. We bonded. Days later, patients trooped in. Are people observing self-isolation & social distancing?” I was so scared for Nigeria.

“The next days were tough. No appetite. The nausea, vomit & stooling was unbearable. I’m a blood type A & #COVID19 dealt with me. I’ll share daily symptoms & recovery process in a video tomorrow. I thought I was going to die & contemplated a succession plan for @StandtoEndRape. I was on drugs daily. Sometimes, I‘d take 8 tablets in the morning, 13 tablets in the afternoon, 10 at night. My system threw everything out!”

Fighting for life 

Ms Osowobi narrated how she battled for survival.

“Water, food, soap & all disgusted me. But I’d look at the wall & force myself to stay hydrated — drank ORS. I FOUGHT TO LIVE! I FOUGHT!!

“Days after, the Doctors shared good news that I tested negative. I shared this news w/ family & friends! My blood sample was taken & I also tried to donate my plasmapheresis to help others. I hoped to be discharged. I waited to be discharged, but for two days, nothing happened.

“I was unsure of what was going on. Why haven’t I been discharged? Should I be in the same ward? Could I get reinfected? I was worried but remained calm. On the 3rd day, Doctors said, ‘well, we worked w/ the info we had of you testing negative, but one result came back positive’.

“’You’ll stay a few more days. You know we take nose, mouth & sputum samples.’

“Am I still positive?” I asked. “No, you’re negative,” the Doctor replied. The Doctor apologised for the delay. I was anxious to go home but remained calm. I wanted to be free from this pain.

“I continued the medication and asked to be in a separate ward. Sadly, I remained in the same ward as all other rooms were full. My ward had people who were positive. What if I get re-infected? For them, I was a beacon of hope & they needed me gone to register the progress.

“My family & friends were becoming anxious. People in my ward who earlier celebrated the news of my result suddenly lost hope. ‘Why are you still here? You shouldn’t be here with us. You should be separated from us now…’ People in my ward muttered. I tried to calm them.

“Today, I am PROUD to inform you that I MURDERED COVID-19 & have tested NEGATIVE TWICE! I HAVE BEEN DISCHARGED I bless God for His mercies. The nurses at IDH Yaba were fab. They deserve accolades for their hard work.

“Thank you Governor @jidesanwoolu for coming to see me. Thanks to @ProfAkinAbayomi, the health team at IDH + Lagos State. The food was good! Thanks to @dondekojo for helping me get help. Thanks to my chat buddy, @akintonmide. Thank you @KelechiAFC & @lailajohnsonsal for the mental & material support. They protected my identity!

“Thanks to everyone who called, sent messages and tried to contact me. I am grateful and well. This experience reminded me of the value of friendship. Some people I refer to as friends speculated about this, but never reached out to check. Thank you still. Back to the grind!

Huge thanks to my family, @Triciabiz & Sola Odetola who were my backbone. Some stigmatised me based on a PUNCH article with subtle messages like ‘why did she come back to Nigeria?’ Nigeria is my home.

“Coronavirus is NOT a death sentence. People can survive and I HAVE! We should encourage people to get tested & stop the stigma. Practice social distancing and stop the spread. @NCDCgov & State Governments need to improve their testing capacity. Test mild/asymptomatic cases too. Sending strength to everyone who is fighting to beat #COVID19,” she narrated.

 

PT