Sister Brenda Joshua, a professional nurse at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital says faith and hope pulled her through her ICU Covid-19 experience.
Joshua recalled how she spent 10 days in the hospital fighting the coronavirus. Three of those days were in ICU.
The one thing I want to stress is that when you are weak there, and in your bed, whether you’re in hospital or at home, there is always hope. This is the one thing I would want everyone to remember. The frontline hero for me during my battle with Covid-19 was God. Faith and hope pulled me through,” she said.
Joshua initially felt ill and had shortness of breath and immediately informed her supervisor. She was sent to the staff screening and testing facility at the hospital before quarantining at home while waiting for her test results.
Two days later she received news that she was positive and her son also entered quarantine with her, as he was a close contact.
Her children were shocked but quickly got all the relevant information from the provincial hotline.
They were briefed on how to care for their mom and when to contact emergency services. With a good support system from my children, it was fine for us as a family,” Joshua said.
A few days into her isolation, she started feeling worse and struggled with shortness of breath. Being a diagnosed asthmatic, she was concerned and her son called for an ambulance.
Joshua was transferred to a medical facility where she was treated with high flow oxygen and started her road to recovery. She has high praises for her faith and everyone involved in her recovery, from the nurses to the doctors, the entire multi-disciplinary team.
“The three days and nights in ICU were some of the scariest times for me. Looking through the window and seeing others intubated really got to me,” she confessed.
She said she wondered if she would ever see her family again or whether that was the last goodbye she had said to her son at home. Going through that time was really difficult,” Joshua said.
Joshua has a few tips for those concerned about severe cases of Covid-19: “A positive mindset is essential to overcome this coronavirus. A high level of anxiety is not good for your overall health. Listen to the experts and confirmed facts. Joshua said returning to work was a highlight.
“I had an amazing reception back at work. I had amazing support from everybody: doctors and everyone from the Red Cross family. I want to thank each and everyone for their support,” Joshua said.