COVID-19:The Painful Death of My MBBS Student Son

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By Dr Mrs Shabnam Tahir

“May God bless you all”! Yesterday, my son left this world. And, today itself I am at isolation Centre coming to speak to you so that no mother will lose her son/daughter or anyone. I am not only a mother but, also a doctor.

My son had no physical problem nor was known for low immunity. He was 21years healthy, active and athletic and also good at sports, socialising, maintaining friendship etc. apart from being good at studies.

He had a desire to study well, become a good doctor and serve the people. But, everything turned upside down in 72 hours!

He never went out during the lockdown period. Twice he went out in own vehicle for 5 minutes each but quickly washed as per norms on returning, being a medical student himself.

On the eve of Eid night, he went out with 2 of his friends for 2 hours and quickly had his bath on returning and slept. On Eid morning he didn’t get up early. When I went to him he had a small frontal headache. I gave him Panadol tablet. He had very little lunch that day.

When the headache had not subsided, I took the temperature and found it to be 99 degrees. I felt worried. Considering the present circumstances, I isolated him in the house itself.

In 24 hours the temperature rose to 101. Again I gave him Panadol+Brufen. Same day he complained of stiffness in the neck. Myself and my Pediatrician-husband suspected Meningitis. But he had no nausea or vomiting. Yet, we sent his blood samples for testing. The doctors said it to be Bacterial Meningitis. And, We started giving antibiotics. In half an hour he was shifted to a hospital isolation ward.

Lumber-puncture-test was done and the result came as : Viral Meningitis. When queried on Covid testing doctor said it was not necessary!

I was with him during the treatment. He had no cold, throat-pain, cough, stomach pain, ear-ache etc. But, noticed a small swelling around one eye. Referred to neurosurgeon and a CT scan was done only to confirm everything else as normal and the doctor felt it to be due to Meningitis. Yet, he suggested an X-ray to be done on the chest. A small patch was noticed in the X-ray. Immediately, a Covid test was done. Positive….!!

All these developments took place in front of my eyes! Heart rate, respiratory rate, started increasing. Oxygen level- dropped. I could see the severity of Pneumonia increasingly rapidly despite external supports within 8-10 hours. Shockingly he left us all suddenly !!

My husband has tested positive for Covid. He is in isolation. We could not even weep and mourn together for our son till now ! Am in isolation. Salman’s funeral was done as per the protocol. I will continue to be in isolation for some more time and will resume duty thereafter. But, I like to tell each of you certain things. Kindly listen to me :

1. Please do not venture out thinking there is no risk factor. Without being a patient of Corona, you could be a carrier of the virus. When we did the contact tracing of our son, it was felt that probably we, parents, could have been the carriers upon our return from duty and he got it merely sitting at home.

2. Please do not venture out without sufficient reason or visit/contact anyone associated with a Covid patient.

3. I keep getting calls even now from patients needing infertility treatment, but, tell them, “you have waited for 10 years, please wait for six more months. Please do not come now”!!

4. Please follow the Government’s instructions and protocols. Don’t say they are spreading fears. Despite being doctors and with all facilities in the hospital I had to see with my own eyes my son going away, helplessly.

5. To those who say that doctors will tell lies for money, I have to say, “I am prepared to give all our money and properties, can you get me our son back”!

6. To those who think, “I will not get these deceases”, I like to tell…, you may be throwing your dear ones to death even before you know of it…!

Let no more Mother lose her child…! Amen!!

Not sure, how many of us will bear these painful words for how many days. But, please remember, our lives are not entirely in our hands. Thanks.

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