Lucky to be alive, Kerala nurse who beat Covid urges all to get vaccinated

P Shirly cannot believe that she is alive.

Published: 30th June 2021 05:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th June 2021 09:23 PM   |  A+A-

P Shirly

Express News Service

KANNUR: P Shirly cannot believe that she is alive. The hazy, yet excruciating memories of the days she spent in the ICU of Kannur Government Medical College Hospital, Pariyaram, after testing positive for Covid have made her realise the seriousness of the situation that society is going through.

“I never thought I would be able to survive and kiss my children again,” said Shirly, 37, a nurse in the hospital's cardiology department. She always feared getting infected. For, she had been asked not to get vaccinated as she was a lactating mother. Her youngest son Ben Joe is only 10 months old. “Most of us knew that despite taking all the precautions, we were still at risk of getting infected in the present circumstances,” she said.

When she felt unwell on April 29, fear gripped Shirly as she became worried about her husband Shybu and three children. “I finished my duty on the morning of April 30 and returned home after giving my swab sample for testing,” said Shirly. She was declared positive on May 1. Subsequently, Shybu and their elder daughter Angel too tested positive. “Though we started taking antibiotics and went into home isolation, my condition worsened as I was a lactating mother, ” she recalled. When she started experiencing respiratory problems, the hospital asked her to get admitted.

It was found she also had pneumonia. “I was admitted to the ICU on May 5, and the days that followed were tough. It was like a bad dream. I felt I was in another world. I was getting the first-hand experience of the difficulties faced by thousands of patients. The isolation added to my frustration,” she said. “Fortunately, the combined efforts of the doctors and other health workers paid off and after a week of struggle between life and death, I coul d breathe freely,” said Shirly who was shifted from the ICU to the Covid ward on May 14.

She was discharged on May 16 after testing negative. Her family recovered too. Though her health condition has improved better, Shirly has not resumed work. She said vaccination is must to beat Covid. She also said there should be no hesitation in going to the hospital if fever persists for more than two days. She said: “The earlier you get to a hospital, the better your chances of recovery are.”


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