COVID-19 survivor details her experience in ward

Malaysians are definitely looking ahead to better days, as 70% of the population will get vaccinated against COVID-19 soon. But we must remain vigilant in the meantime, as reported COVID-19 cases continue to spike in recent days. On 16th January, Malaysia recorded a whopping 4,029 cases – and our healthcare system remains close to breaking point

Showing just how difficult it has been for those affected by COVID-19 and the frontliners who have been working to keep us safe, a COVID-19 survivor’s Facebook post detailing her experience of spending 5 days in the critical ward has gone viral. In it, she shared how the virus truly takes a toll on patients physically and mentally, and how nurses caring for affected individuals were even fearful of the ICU. 

Patients and nurses’ plights and fears at hospital

Wan E’reen Wan Hasan took to her Facebook account to share the story of how she survived COVID-19, from how she came to learn that she had COVID-19, to the days she spent in the critical ward in Hospital Sungai Buloh and to her fight to stay alive to see her children again. 

The lengthy post begins with her explaining how her COVID-19 symptoms first manifested on 24th December 2020. She initially went to a clinic to get medication for a fever and cough. But when other ailments became apparent, such as body aches, difficulty breathing, and nose bleeds, she went to get tested for COVID-19 – with results returning positive. 

Image (for illustration purposes only) credit:
Noor Hisham Abdullah

Things went downhill after she tested positive again when she checked herself into Hospital Sungai Buloh. Her condition worsened, and results from various check-ups returned with worrying results. With several days of poor appetite and a loss of smell and taste on top of her COVID-19 symptoms, she had to spend 5 days in the critical ward.

Her time in the critical ward wasn’t easy either. She had to take blood tests 4-5 times a day. She was also on the waiting list for the ICU, where severe cases were placed, and had to rely on a ventilator to help her breathe as she wasn’t getting enough oxygen. Despite this, she continued to fight against the virus because she was determined to survive and see her children again.

COVID-19 SURVIVOR STORYImage (for illustration purposes only) credit: Noor Hisham Abdullah

While her time in the critical ward may have been relatively short, it was nonetheless a harrowing one.

She saw “people dying in a blink of an eye, and bodies going straight into green zip bags”. Some patients who were being treated for COVID-19 like her, fared no better, as she shared that “patients were throwing fits under extreme stress”, with some even “suicidal and screaming to return home”.

There is currently a total of over 37,000 active cases in Malaysia as of 17th January. And while our healthcare professionals try their best to keep us safe, there are limits to what they can do.

Ereen noted that there were just 2 nurses to a ward of 28 beds that were always occupied by patients. The nurses’ jobs were to care for, clean up after, and monitor patients, with some of them also said to be “fearful of the ICU” because it was the most dangerous place to be working at in the hospital. 

A warning to others and show of appreciation for frontliners

Malaysia has recorded 601 total deaths from COVID-19, as of 17th January.

Image credit: Noor Hisham Abdullah

Thankfully, Ereen said in the same Facebook post that she was eventually taken off the ventilator. But with how difficult her experience with COVID-19 had been, she capped off her Facebook post by pleading with Malaysians to not “treat [COVID-19] lightly, and [to] stop going here and there as you wish”. 

As the virus is easily transmissible, she also cautioned others to stay at home and not to “balikkampung” and put elderly relatives, who have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, at risk at this time.

She explained her own situation to show how COVID-19 still haunts her even while her worst days in a critical ward is over. She shared that her body felt “no longer normal” 3 days after she left the hospital, and that it would take at least 5 months before she would be fully recovered.

She also had to see a lung specialist for persistent pneumonia, be subject to a constant stream of blood tests, and she even had to swallow up to 20 pills a day. After leaving the hospital, she was bedridden for a while, as she was still experiencing body cramps and was often short of breath.

Image credit: Wan E’reen Wan Hasan

With her post garnering over 40,000 shares and 30,000 reactions at the time of writing, she came out to address concerned and appreciative Malaysians who reached out to wish her a speedy recovery and thank her for sharing her eye-opening story.

She further reiterated that she shared her experience as a warning to others to treat COVID-19 seriously, and to stay home or get tested for the virus if they feel unwell. She also took the time to once again show support for the frontliners at Hospital Sungai Buloh and thank them for their work.

Survivor of COVID-19 shares about her time in critical ward

With just 18 days into this new year, it seems like COVID-19 is not going anywhere for now, at least. As COVID-19 survivor Ereen shared in her post, the virus that is burdening patients and our frontliners is no joke. So while we wait for vaccines to roll out, we should all be extra careful whenever we’re out to stay safe and help curb the virus by observing SOPs.

Read more COVID-19 related news here:

Cover image adapted from: Wan E’reen Wan Hasan & (for illustration purposes only) Noor Hisham Abdullah 

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