It was the willpower, cheerful disposition and timely medical intervention that saved the life of an 81-year-old Emirati who tested positive for Covid-19.
Doctors at Al Zahra Hospital, Sharjah, lauded the presence of mind and positivity of RSR that helped him bounce back to life after spending 18 days in the hospital and testing negative for the virus. He was the oldest patient to recover from the deadly virus from the hospital.
Sharjah resident RSR, who has history of hypertension, said he started experiencing mild chest pain and was rushed to the emergency room at Al Zahra Hospital with breathing difficulties, nausea, cough and also difficulty in swallowing.
Speaking about the condition of the RSR when he first came to the hospital, Dr Nawal Ibraheem, who handled his case, said: “As soon as he was admitted to the hospital, we did a chest X-ray which at once showed some Covid-19 related changes and we could see? signs of pneumonia. His blood test showed high inflammatory markers and the final swab confirmed he was Covid-19 positive but we did not inform him and instead told his family.
We started his treatment quickly and his body responded well to the medications. But we believe that it was his optimism, cheerfulness and strong will power that aided him in his recovery from this deadly disease. He has been discharged after testing negative and is hale and hearty back with his family.”
Speaking to Khaleej Times after getting discharged, RSR, who lives with around 15 family members, including his sons and grandchildren, said: “I cannot thank God enough for giving me a new lease of life and bringing me back to my family. I felt I was going to die when I started feeling heaviness in my chest and asked my son to rush me to the hospital. The pain and separation from my loved ones was indescribable but the care and attention I received at the hospital helped me recover.”
RSR said he wasn’t sure how he got the virus but he said he would often visit the family’s farm house for walks and maybe contracted it from the workers there, although he said he maintained social distancing as well as wore mask whenever he stepped out.
After spending 18 days away from his loved ones, he was discharged from the hospital after testing negative repeatedly. “I am happy to be back home where at least I can see and hear my children and grandchildren around me. I am now home quarantined for 14 days and I am maintaining a distance from all. But I make sure that I sit out in the sun for a few minutes every day which makes him feel better,” he said.
Michael Davis, CEO of NMC Health Plc that oversees the operations of Al Zahra Hospital, Sharjah, said: “Senior citizens are like jewels of our community. RSR, a retired senior government functionary, is from our host Emirati community and Al Zahra hospital at Sharjah has been enjoying their trust and that of the neighbourhood for the last 40 years. I feel very privileged to be working with the thousands of our frontliners defeating the Covid-19 pandemic day in and day out and serving humanity.”