Carol (not her real name) has been in the Scarborough General Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for endless days and nights with another patient, who died on the night of Sunday, May 9.
She says she feels an “intense sadness” about the patient’s death. She says she knows it could have been her.
Carol says all she has been seeing are nurses and doctors in silhouette, long, white gowns, covered with masks and gloves, and only their eyes showing. The nurses’ words bring well wishes and items from family members and friends.
Carol said knowing she is being prayed for brings “absolute comfort” as she breathes through an oxygen mask, holding on for dear life.
Now the lone patient at the ICU on May 11, she remains hopeful. She was shocked after learning of the death of the only person who had been “keeping her company” since she was admitted in early May with complications from COVID-19.
“It was a tragic loss as her family, I am sure, were expecting her to come out alive,” Carol told Guardian Media.
On Sunday, when Guardian Media spoke with Carol, she was trying to control her fear of dying, breathing deeply through the short conversation. Back then, she was told her oxygen saturation level was 50 per cent.
Yesterday, she said the oxygen level was 82 per cent. She said she feels better and credits her survival to “God, prayers, and the kind, wonderful nurses in the Scarborough Hospital’s ICU Unit.”
She laughs a little as she talks about getting out of the hospital and “appreciating everything.”
She said she still wonders where she got COVID.
“I was careful, went to work and back, stayed only with my husband. He took me to work and back. I still got COVID. He tested negative. My co-workers tested negative too. So where did I get it?,” she questioned.
She recalled how her situation unfolded.
“I felt a little fever and intense pain, especially in my back. Days after, I felt worse. The fever got intense. I was not sure what day it was, who my husband was, and where I was. I was at home. I went to the Scarborough Health Center, and the nurses decided to test me for COVID as they were monitoring me as I had taken the vaccine days before. On my way to the drug store to get stronger painkillers, the nurses called me and said I should return immediately, as I tested positive for COVID. I cried,” she said.
She said she can’t remember much after that.
“Only just me fighting to breathe, fighting to remain alive, trying to smile, and having happy thoughts,” Carol said.
Her advice to the general public is: “COVID is real. Don’t say it’s just a cold. Follow all the protocols. Keep your family safe.”
Guardian Media Ltd is keeping Carol in our prayers.