He was still lying on a hospital bed. All he vaguely remembered, the doctor told him he was going to be in a coma.
But when was it? How long had he been sleeping? He had no idea.
“I had a high temperature, fever, cough and shortness of breath. When I went to the A&E registration desk, they took all of my contact information and oxygen levels and immediately took me away.
“They put me in a room and then a few hours later transferred me to a ward. Then put on an oxygen mask to supply my body with oxygen. The next evening, I had a visit from the ITU surgeon, who came with a whole team and said that we need to put you to sleep.
“At the time, I didn’t know that induced sleep meant a coma and I was so sick that I felt good doing what you have to do. I trusted them. “
Sohail was so sick with COVID-19 that he needed to be intubated.
“They put me on a fan, but I don’t know how many days I spent on a fan. I don’t know if it was from the start or halfway through. “
While he was asleep, the doctors performed a tracheostomy on him. “Basically, they make a little hole and put a tube in your lungs to make sure your body gets the oxygen you need. “
The chances of survival after intubation are not high. It was touching if Sohail wanted to live.
“I woke up and they told me it was touch and go because during my coma my temperature did not drop and they pumped me up with drugs, antibiotics and other stuff, so they said that it could have gone both ways. It was 50-50, whether I survived or not. “
Sohail’s first thoughts when he came were those of his mother. He doesn’t know why but says he just had a “feeling”.
He asked the doctors and nurses but no one would answer his questions. It was not until a consultant, who was also a family friend, announced devastating news to Sohail.
“It was my mother who was admitted to the same hospital just days after my intubation. She went to the hospital, I think, on a Monday and died two days later after her admission. “
Rashida Begum Mohammad was in the same hospital, dying from COVID-19 at a few pupils of her son. Sohail, of course, didn’t know because he was comatose. But still, he said, he knew something had happened to him.
“It wasn’t really broken, I just had that feeling. It just entered my mind and all that. I don’t know if I heard someone speak during my coma. Because when you are in a coma, they say that your consciousness is still alive and that you tend to hallucinate.
“So when I woke up, the first thing I asked for was my cell phone so I could call my brother and confirm the news.
“One of the nurses who knew my brother called him and told him that your brother was awake and that he was asking about your mother. I think at the time, my brother was a little shocked, like “how did he find out, who told him? “
“I mean the doctors and nurses knew it, but no one wanted to tell me because of the trauma I had experienced. I mean, when I woke up, I was at the CCU at the time, then one of my brother’s friends who is a consultant came down and he kind of confirmed and kindly announced the news. “
Sohail was in shock at the news of his mother’s death. But there was another bomb coming.
He was told he had been in a coma for almost a month.
Sohail’s brother Aqeel had received special permission to visit their mother just before his death. He told Sohail that she prayed for her recovery until her last breath.
“My mother was in very bad condition, my brother was given a special visit in exceptional circumstances, otherwise no visit was allowed. He visited her in the evening and one of the last things she prayed for was that my health would improve.
“I was told that while I was in a coma, it was only when she passed away, it was only then that my vital signs started to improve, that the doctors then realized that there was hope for me. It was certainly my mother’s prayers that saved me. “
Sohail is 47 years old but seems much older. His body is fragile and he urges on crutches. Doctors told him it would take him at least another six months to rebuild his strength. And it will be with the help of regular physiotherapy.
“Because I was in a coma for a whole month, my body was taken out of service. Basically, I had no muscle movement. I felt a little disoriented. After CCU when they transferred me to the general ward, for the first week or two, I was completely still, I couldn’t move or speak, so the nurses had to bathe.
“I couldn’t lift a spoon so they had to feed me for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At that time, I also lost my taste, so the only thing I ate at the time was yogurt. Before entering it, I weighed 67 kg. When I last weighed in the hospital, I fell to 59 kg, so I lost a lot of weight. “
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Sohail has seen patients dying around him. He knows he would not have survived without the speed and skill of the care he received at the hospital.
“I really want to congratulate the surgeons and nurses who are on the front lines, who put their lives on the line to ensure that patients are well cared for and for their health and benefits.
“When I was in general service, the nurses there really, really cared for you. If I hadn’t gone to A&E when I did and if the doctors hadn’t put me into a coma at the time, it might have been another story for me.
“I may not have been sitting here today to have this conversation, so I really have to thank them for all the hard work and efforts they have made to save my life.”