I managed to secure the Bipap mask tightly, double checking for air leaks and prayed that this would be enough to stabilise his saturation long enough to restart his failing heart.
This is from my first morning shift in the covid ward~ I walked in at 8.02 or 8.05, practically on time, donning the all white PPE suit, but as soon as I entered the high dependency unit, my superiors shouted to me from the other side of the room to hurry in and give them a hand. It was an 80 year old patient who was crashing, he tested positive after coming in to the ER with complaints of a heart attack. His saturation plummets to the mid 70s as the nursing staff hurriedly fix the ECG probes onto his chest. I managed to secure the Bipap mask tightly, double checking for air leaks and prayed that this would be enough to stabilise his saturation long enough to restart his failing heart.
Fortunately, he could be revived after a gruelling hour of employing desperate measures that were however, unable to save a younger patient on the adjacent bed.
On one of my rounds the following day, I noticed the nurses helping him video call his son and wife. Tears rolled down his cheek on the first glimpse of his family.
I met with his attendants later, suggesting to them to write a letter, something he could keep bedside, read and reread while he fought desperately to return home to his young grandchildren.
The next morning, letter in hand, I walked into the ward, the first good news I could deliver to a patient in a while.
the first good news I could deliver to a patient in a while.
He folded his hands when I told him that his family was waiting for him and that they had sent a message through me. I watched tears pool in his eyes as he folded his hands again when my words had concluded. I noticed he slept clutching the letter the next few days.
I’ve been posted out of the ward since; into the war room instead. His attendants call several times each day, praying their father makes it out of the lion’s den, I silently pray too. A week later, he seems to be stable enough during video rounds to no longer require intensive care.
I smile as I rub off his name from the HDU board and initiate the shift to the private ward. Ofcourse, amidst the 80-100 patients in the ward, there’s no way for me to know if he made his way back home, but it’s the light at the end of the tunnel I’ve been searching for.