“After nine days in the hospital, a bout of pneumonia and a major scare, I think I can now be called a COVID-19 survivor,” wrote GMA Network broadcast journalist Howie Severino in a blog post that revealed his battle with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease as confirmed case number 2,828.
Source: GMA News Online
He opened up about the struggle of other patients he knew in their attempt to go back to their normal lives after finally testing negative for the virus and being discharged from the hospital. Some, he shared, can’t even go home because their landlords won’t let them.
“This disease is one of the most stigmatized and loneliest in human history, perhaps comparable only to leprosy where quarantine can be forever,” he said.
“I am one of the lucky ones who have been able to go home, resume a semblance of my former life, and live to tell the tale.”
He continued: “It’s a tale of long painful needles that couldn’t find a vein in my hands, the shwabs down my throat that made me gag, the torture of long sleep deprivation, and the team of doctors who formed a Viber group to discuss updates on my case and the experimental drug chloroquine that worked on patients elsewhere and eventually worked on me.”
Now that he’s free of the virus, Severino accepted his responsibility to share his experience openly so others may have a better understanding of it.
“Since the pandemic is far from over, many more will be infected and confined. Some will not make it. Those of us among the pioneers — I’m Patient 2828 in the lower part of the curve — have a responsibility to talk about this experience in a way that will enable the public to understand it, lessen the fear, and create compassion for those who survived COVID-19,” he said.
Source: GMA News Online
On his blog, he listed some takeaways that COVID-19 patients and their loved ones should keep in mind. He stressed the importance of being transparent with your family, your doctors, and your immediate neighbors; of maximizing technology to keep in touch with others to avoid loneliness; of sharing “playlists, jokes and memes” to patients to get their mind off the disease; and of having a calm and positive mindset because, as Severino wrote, “COVID-19 need not be a death sentence.”
He also expressed gratitude to the medical workers who chose to risk their lives to save his.
“It will be hard to pay them back, but one can pay it forward.
If it’s true that I will have antibodies in my blood that can help others fight off infection, I’ll be glad to donate this accidental gift. It’s a small price for all survivors to pay for the chance to see the sun again,” he said.
(ALSO READ: PGH Eyes Using Antibodies in Blood of Survivors to Treat COVID-19 Patients)
Do you know anyone who is a COVID-19 survivor and is willing to share their story? Tell us in the comments!
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