COVID survivor never wants to experience it again

September 17, 2021

Like any other night, Pam* had put her daughter to sleep then retired to bed herself on Monday, August 30.

But unlike other nights, Pam woke up unable to breathe well. After no relief hours later, she went to the hospital. This is where she got the grim news that she had contracted COVID-19.

But she said that while the diagnosis was terrible news, her overall experience at the hospital was a trauma all by itself.

"When I went there they were saying there's no doctor there so I had to wait. I waited around till after 9 a.m. somebody came and registered me and a hour later a doctor came, called my name and said follow her around to a tent. She tell me to wait under this tent, someone soon come to me," she said. Little did Pam know that this tent would be her only shelter for the next 20 hours. Armed with an IV bag of antibiotics that the doctor gave her in case she tested positive, Pam waited. And waited. Hungry and nervous as she awaited her test results, her frustration and fear peaked.

"I was waiting for a very long time, this was about after 6 p.m. They have this ting at the hospital saying to get in contact with you, you have to have your phone. Now I didn't know that policy. Me deh deh from morning my phone dead long time. According to them, they say they were calling me and not getting me," she said. To make it worse, Pam was surprised to hear that the hospital had contacted her family and told them that they could not locate her.

Pam, 34, said that during her arduous wait, she witnessed COVID patients experiencing seizure-like activities, coughing and wheezing fits and being placed on oxygen. Pam wondered if this would be her fate. "There was this lady that was walking and outta nowhere she just drop dung. Stretcha affi come take ar up," Pam recalled. Eventually, she got the grim news around midnight on Tuesday that she had COVID-19.

Me just start bawl

"When she tell me, me just start bawl. The first thing come to mi mind is what ago happen to my daughter!' Pam recalled. It was another few hours before she was given an assortment of medicines and told to quarantine at home. Two weeks of solitude and pain followed.

"I experienced loss of taste, loss of smell and pain all over," she recalled. "It did feel like seh somebody was stepping in my chest. The only thing I could do to get some relief was steam and put the rag with the warm water on mi chest. That help a likkle bit."

Pam told THE WEEKEND STAR that when she recalls her experience, it brings her to tears. "Every time I look at my hand and I see the hole in my vein from the IV, it just bring back some memories. Mi nuh wah guh back through it again," the woman cried. "Fi guh ketch corona again? It nuh sweet!"

Pam, who said she used to love giving hugs, is now afraid to be touched. "Mi start sanitise and wash me clothes with Dettol now and all a them ting deh," she said. Pam says she praises God for her recovery and is urging people to wear their masks and follow the necessary protocols.

"Until persons feel this thing for themselves or have a person that go through it, they won't understand," she said.

* Name changed

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