A doctor’s battle with Covid-19

Dr Shaharudin Mohamad speaks in an interview at his clinic.

PETALING JAYA: It was an ordinary day of work at the clinic for Dr Shaharudin Mohamad – until the phone rang.

Upon answering the call, he was informed by staff from the Petaling district health office that one of his patients had tested positive for Covid-19.

He was told to go for screening and quarantined at Sungai Buloh Hospital.

Two days later, Shaharudin, 58, tested positive himself and his clinic in Bandar Sri Damansara was ordered to close immediately.

But worse was still to come for the doctor, who began experiencing breathing difficulties.

His condition rapidly deteriorated, and in just a few days, he had fallen into a coma.

“That’s all I remember,” he told FMT.

When he regained consciousness two weeks later, he was told that he had been intubated and hooked to a ventilator nearly the entire time.

“I was placed in the ICU for a month before being transferred to the coronary care unit,” he added.

The virus attacked Shaharudin’s lungs, heart and kidneys and caused his blood pressure to soar.

“My doctor warned me of kidney failure, and I went for multiple dialysis sessions,” he said.

He was discharged on April 29 and told to seek follow-up treatment for his lungs and kidneys.

His wife too became infected with Covid-19 but her condition was less severe.

Shaharudin still has difficulty speaking which he says could be due to his lengthy intubation. He also tires easily.

His doctor has advised him to avoid crowded places as local and international studies have found that the antibody levels of recovered Covid-19 patients experience a sharp drop.

He has also suspended the medical screening programme for foreign workers at his clinic as a precautionary measure.

He says he was likely infected by a patient who had displayed flu-like symptoms during examination.

“But I did not suspect her of having the virus.”

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