The difficult experience of being a patient with coronavirus and recovering was described as “being born again” by Jorge, a 60-year-old Colombian who this Monday left the clinic where he was hospitalized in Cali (southwest) for 16 days.
“I think I came back to life, this is to be born again. After recovering from this deadly disease is to be back in life,” Jorge (fictional name), whose family was looking forward to it after two weeks in who only knew about him by phone.
For fear of being singled out or even assaulted by his neighbors when he returns home, as has already happened in Colombia with other patients and with medical personnel who fight against the disease, Jorge preferred to keep his identity confidential.
The patient is a merchant in one of the market places in Cali and says that the symptoms began 20 days ago, with “tremendous pain in the neck and shoulders.”
He thought it was a simple flu and initially treated her with common medications but when he experienced a headache so bad that it made him feel like vomiting and the need to lie down because he couldn’t deal with his body, he knew it was time going to the doctor.
“16 days ago I entered the clinic because I woke up bad. I started to sweat in a tremendous way and then I told my wife to take me to the doctor,” said Jorge, who at no time suspected that he was infected.
Fortunately, the virus that has already claimed the lives of 574 people in the country, 65 of them in Cali, has so far not affected any other member of his family.
During his visit to three wards of the DESA Clinic, the attention was “effective” and that is why today, with the tranquility of having survived, Jorge recommended to those who in Cali have ignored prevention measures, such as mandatory quarantine, the wearing a mask and social distancing, “be careful because this is something serious. You do not believe it but it is strong.”
CASE OF SUCCESS
For Juan Jacobo Padilla, one of the internists who accompanied Jorge’s recovery process, his case is “gratifying”.
“As it is a disease from which there is hardly any evidence of what its treatment and evolution is like, as long as it is successful, especially when the patient initially sees himself in very poor condition, it is gratifying that he comes out,” said Padilla. to Efe.
The doctor assured that Jorge is a patient who was exposed to an environment in which there was “high prevalence of infection” by coronavirus.
In the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where he was admitted, “from the beginning we found tests that suggested coronavirus infection, which we later confirmed, so it was decided to start treatment,” said the doctor.
Then the patient “began to evolve and the oxygen could be withdrawn and the examinations gradually improved until now he can come out in very good condition,” he said.
On Monday afternoon Jorge was able to see his wife and daughter again.
Before leaving, very happy, although with few words, the patient maintained that he always had “faith in God” that he would live to tell his experience, although he will still have to remain isolated for a while longer.
In this regard, Dr. Padilla explained that Jorge “will undergo a control test at home and later be able to return to his working life.”
“Physically and emotionally he is in good condition,” but “unfortunately this is not the story of many patients,” nor of the doctors and nurses who treat them, he added.
The National Institute of Health (INS) reported that as of May 15, 760 health professionals had been infected with COVID-19, of which 375 have recovered and 10 have died.
Therefore, “one of the things we always have as a priority is protection,” said Padilla, for whom the adaptation process has not been easy.
And it is that, due to the stress of his work in medical centers, the coronavirus imposed a further burden on those who fight against him.
“Initially, it was getting used to wearing the mask all the time. Then came gowns, gloves, glasses and others until you have complete protection with these suits that are quite complex due to the temperature, mobility and all the issues that must be taken into account putting it on and taking it off, “said the doctor resigned but happy to know that, at least in Jorge’s case, that effort was worth it.