‘It still gives me nightmares’: Kerala's first Nipah survivor recalls her battles

Ajanya was an intern at Kozhikode Beach General Hospital when she was deployed on short-term duty at the MCH, where she contracted the virus.

Published: 14th September 2023 06:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th September 2023 06:48 AM   |  A+A-

M Ajanya. (Photo | Express)

By Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: Within minutes of news of the reappearance of Nipah in the state started flashing on TV channels, her phone started ringing, with enquiries of her well-being. After all, the life of M Ajanya, a nurse hailing from the small town of Cheliya, near Koyilandy, is inextricably entwined with the state’s battle against the virus. The 23-year-old is the state’s first survivor of the deadly Nipah virus, which was first reported in 2018.  

The latest outbreak took her back to the days when she was admitted to the intensive care of Kozhikode Government Medical College Hospital, struggling to survive. But, she was not alone. Ubeesh joined Ajanya in being declared the only survivors of the 2018 outbreak, which claimed 18 lives.

A staff nurse at Edakulam Health Centre, it was two years ago that Ajanya finished her course and got married to a person from the same district.  

Ajanya was an intern at Kozhikode Beach General Hospital when she was deployed on short-term duty at the MCH, where she contracted the virus. “The information regarding the intensity of the latest cases and the nature of the spread is horrifying,” she says. “I understand the concern of people who enquire about my welfare. But I have moved on. I am extremely happy to be working at a health centre where common people arrive for free treatment,” added Ajanya.

Recounting her days in the isolation ward, Ajanya said, “I was informed of my condition only on the eve of discharge. I was worried when my parents were not allowed to see me, but hospital authorities made sure that I felt better. I was told by MCH staff that ‘hero’ nurse Lini Puthussery, who died of the virus she picked up from a patient, was in the same ward as mine. The memory of those days in isolation still gives me nightmares,” she adds.

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