If there is one thing that Evelyn Alay Quidlat learned from contracting Covid-19, it’s the thought that having it is not the end of the world.
Quidlat, 58, is a former human resource professional with an oil-and-gas company from Jebel Ali. She fought Covid-19 for nearly 36 days and was admitted at the Medcare Hospital, Sharjah, from April 13 to May 16. She spent nearly 10 days in the ICU.
“My husband died in the Philippines in May 2019 and I realized I was all alone as I have no children. When I contracted Covid-19, I just felt that if I have to die, I will. There is no point in feeling bad as I view death as a transition to the other side where God is waiting to take care of us,” Quidlat, who has been working and living in Dubai for 12 years now, told Gulf News.
She revealed that many of her friends never thought of her surviving the deadly virus.
“One colleague even told others: ‘Oh, Evelyn s not coming back!’ I am pre-diabetic, I have hypertension and high cholesterol. But I fought back Covid-19 and here I am,” she further added.
The Filipino expat said she was very careful throughout the lockdown period, taking her multivitamins and drinking hot water with lemon and honey, believing it can save her from contracting the virus.
I tested negative, but…
During the second week of April, she had developed a fever and as a protocol, she went to a hospital for Covid-19 test–however, the tests came negative.
“I had no loss of taste or smell like others felt. During the following week, the fever relapsed. I recall it was Easter Sunday and I could smell the rack of ribs from another room, my sense of smell was not impaired. Gasping for breath, but refused ventilation. I was admitted to the hospital on April 13. I wasn’t sure what was wrong, but when they administered oxygen, suddenly I felt so good and breathed easy,” she added.
Her oxygen saturation level, which should normally be 95 and above, has dropped to 82 or 83.
“Evelyn was tested again on April 14 and she was positive, but her results came in a week later. However, we had to put her anti-viral, hydroxychloroquine, and antibiotics. She refused to be intubated when we asked for her consent. But we were on alert as she was initially on 14 litres of oxygen per minute via the face mask,” Dr. Vikas Arora, specialist intensivist from Medcare Sharjah, told Gulf News.
By April 14, Quidlat was coughing violently, however, she refused any kind of ventilation.
“I told my doctor if I cannot breathe on my own, let me pass on peacefully, don’t intubate me. I wasn’t afraid of death as I think of it as just a transition,” she said.
“Some people feel COVID-19 happens to people who are unclean or unhygienic. This is not true. This virus is so insidious, it can infect anyone anywhere. I was taking all the precautions and yet I got infected. The other thing I want to tell people is that testing positive is not the end of the world. There is a strong possibility of being able to fight back as many have done. I am also so thankful that I got this infection in Dubai. I am amazed by the preparedness of the government, the dedication of the doctors and nurses at Medcare Hospital Sharjah who looked after me around the clock,” she added.