Amidst all the negativity around due to coronavirus, there are positive things happening too. COVID-19 survivors Rajesh Aswara is eager to return to the isolation ward of the M.Y. Hospital. He has defeated the fear of the disease with grit.
And going back to duty as a male nurse now, he can tell others how he became the first in Indore to do it.
Now that I have overcome corona, I am more confident and want to help others combat it,” said 48-year-old Mr Aswara. Not that he was spooked tending to swine flu patients earlier, who flooded the chest ward where he has been working for six years. “But I am much stronger now,” he added.
To all nurses across the world, he says: “First of all, remove fear from your minds. Second, treat a patient only with personal protective equipment (PPE) kit on. Don’t work without it.”
Not wearing a kit, while treating a COVID-19 patient, proved him, dear. “I wore just a mask and gloves,” he said. The patient was among the first cases to be reported from Indore on March 22. Until 25 March each day, when the patient died, he helped her put on a face mask, checked vitals and fed her.
“I am not sure how I got the illness from her. Just by touching an infected person, you could get it. As so many people are dying across the world and there is no treatment discovered yet, just the mention of it spooked me back then,” he said. And on March 26, his worst fear came true.
After being told he had tested positive for the illness, his limbs trembled for a good 15 minutes. Passing the first day at the ward was the toughest, as his cough turned a sombre blackish. For several days, he slept for only two hours, walked in an empty ward next door feverishly hours at night. And with two-three patients dying of the disease at the hospital every day, he feared whether he was next.
His family back in Rajasthan’s Dungarpur district, insisted they come the moment they heard the news, despite the lockdown and gave up meals.
When he began losing hope, doctors motivated him to not give up, nurses prayed for him, he prayed for himself, ate heartily and on time.
For those unaware, on April 6 at 5.30 p.m, Mr Aswara became the first patient in Indore to overcome the illness.