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Oluwaseun Osowobi

How I survived coronavirus – Discharged patient

Oluwaseun Osowobi

The Lagos State Government on Monday discharged five coronavirus patients who were receiving treatment at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Yaba, Lagos.
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 and disconnected from the outside world. Few days after, another patient came in. We bonded. Days later, patients trooped in. Are people observing self-isolation and social distancing?” I was so scared for Nigeria.
“The next days were tough. No appetite. The nausea, vomit and stooling was unbearable. I’m a blood type A and #COVID19 dealt with me. I thought I was going to die and 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 and all disgusted me. But I’d look at the wall and 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 with family & friends! My blood sample was taken and 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 with 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 and 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 and they needed me gone to register the progress.
“My family and 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 fabulous. 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.

Meanwhile, Ms Osowobi has urged people to get tested and avoid stigmatisation, stressing that COVID-19 is not a death sentence.
She also implored the public to maintain social distancing and take other precautions seriously.
“Coronavirus is NOT a death sentence. People can survive and I HAVE! We should encourage people to get tested and 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.

Source: PremiumTimes

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