Celebrating a COVID-19 recovery
Posted on 30 March 2020
Recently, Mediclinic Victoria saw their first COVID-19 recovery and patient discharged from the hospital, fully recovered from the virus.
In an emotional journey, Patient John* was taken to Mediclinic Victoria in the very early days of the virus in South Africa, after having travelled from Greece via Italy. He came to the facility displaying some very specific symptoms, as well as presenting with serious co-morbidities including coronary artery disease, having had a coronary artery bypass three years previously, diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney disease (stage 3b). This all meant that the 79-year-old patient required urgent hospitalisation for his condition. He was admitted under the care of Dr Venesh Riashen Moodley, a physician at Mediclinic Victoria.
Why was his journey such a dramatic one? “When my father took ill, COVID-19 had not really reached us yet, we never thought he would have been affected by it…. How wrong we were, I think he was the 4th or 5th person tested and by the time the results came out he was about the 17th confirmed case – he was also at that point the oldest confirmed patient with COVID-19,” says John’s son.
The patient presented to the hospital with difficulty breathing and fatigue. “When my father was first admitted, the medical team at Mediclinic Victoria immediately informed us of his poor condition and his possible exposure to the virus – they outlined their protocol measures and then straight away transferred my father into an ICU isolation room and insisted we self-quarantine until further notice,” his son continues.
Dr Moodley details what precautions the clinical team had to take, “Nursing and allied staff used very specific personal protective equipment when nursing the patient. Strict visitor restrictions applied. All nursing staff involved deserve a special mention for their professionalism and dedication to patient care. They were very calm and gave our patient their full attention.”
“Given his dire condition and the fact that he was completely isolated, the hospital gave us the direct line to ICU so we could get regular updates on his condition. We were immediately contacted by the NICD, who together with the advice from medical team at Mediclinic Victoria outlined our new way of life for at least the next 14 days. A medical team was obviously appointed to care for our father, Dr Moodley and Sister Yogi Naidoo are two stand out members of this amazing team who made this entire experience so unbelievable, they were caring and compassionate and totally reassuring at all times. We could contact them 24hrs a day no problem at all and just as soon as the doctor was finished with our father, he would call us to update us on our father’s condition and what course of action would be followed,” his son explains further.
The COVID-19 diagnosis was confirmed three days after admission, following a number of clinical interventions relating to his weak condition. According to Dr Moodley, the patient was treated with supportive measures including supplemental oxygen and haemodialysis. Over the next 12 days, his condition gradually improved and by day 9, he no longer required oxygen. His renal function stabilised and he was then eligible for discharge.
“According to the first version of the NICD protocol, persons under investigation could only be de-isolated after two negative tests 48 hours apart. Our patient has completed these requirements – we are happy to have him discharged,” explains Dr Moodley.
“While the potential complications are very serious, most patients will recover uneventfully. The elderly and those with co-morbid disease may require supportive care and our patient highlights that it is possible to make a full recovery. I recognise that the public is very concerned, but there is no need to panic. Practise social distancing and hand hygiene and help to flatten the curve,” Dr Moodley advises.
Family members of Patient John have expressed their absolute appreciation of the care that their father received during his admission. “His recovery has been phenomenal – he is a 79 year old warrior and at this point his condition has improved miraculously.”
*not patient’s real name to maintain patient privacy