Honourable Ejike Okechukwu, Member Representing Anaocha Constituency Two In The Anambra State House Of Assembly Narrates His COVID-19 Experience.
My closest shave with death!
4th February, in preparation for a trip I was supposed to embark on Sunday, 7th, I decided to visit a mechanic workshop to change oil and break pads. After spending hours at the workshop, I left for a car wash. It took another two hours to get my car thoroughly washed.
While at the car wash, my wife visited. We stayed for some minutes and I asked her to go because it was already getting late. At that point, I was having some feverish feelings. Yes… The normal fever stuff. I mummured to myself, ‘why this fever now’? As I’m planning to embark on a journey in about two days time. After my wife had left, my car completely washed, I set out to go back to the village since I have been operating from there since Christmas.
On entering my car to leave, I bumped into my good friends, the Ahanekus, they were on their way back from work. We had a light evening out and I dropped them off at Aroma junction. Remember, all these while, I was still having the febrile feeling, I even told my friends that I was having fever… Ordinary fever! As I dropped my friends, I entered Peez pharmacy and bought a pack of my usual malaria drugs, Coatem 80/480, and a card of panadol.
Fast forward… I took my malaria drugs till Saturday afternoon, at this time, the fever had greatly subsided, but I had started coughing ‘small small’. Yeah, you heard me right… Ordinary cough. By Saturday evening, I placed a phone call, the phone call that eventually saved my life, the phone call that made it possible for me to be typing this message now, the phone call that kept me alive.
I called Dr. Vincent Okpala, the Commissioner for Health, Anambra State and narrated my ordeal to him. He was surprised because he knew that I was an advocate of good medical practice. There and then, he forwarded a list of about 6 Covid-19 drugs for me to buy. He insisted that I must get all the drugs that Saturday evening and start taking them same evening. It didn’t take me much time to get the drugs and I started taking them same day.
By Sunday, the cough persisted, though, without any complications. The Commissioner continued calling to check on me. Monday morning, I was already becoming weak, my breathing became a little irregular. I informed my commissioner who advised that I should look for a place to check my oxygen saturation level. Since I was still in the village, I was left with no other option than to relocate back to Awka. I got to Awka, visited a hospital where they noticed that my oxygen saturation was hovering between 92 to 96 percent. I reported back to the Commissioner and he advised that I should monitor it more across the night.
Tuesday morning, I woke up, checked my oxygen saturation, low and behold, it was 91 percent. I kept checking it constantly. By noon, I woke up from a nap only to realise that my oxygen saturation had further dropped to 89 percent. I reported to the Commissioner who asked me to immediately come to his office.
At this time, something strange began to happen. An inexplicable fear engulfed my entire body. Yes fear! The type of fear that I couldn’t even trace the source. In fact I began to imagine myself in a casket, I imagined my body being lowered to the mother earth. A lot of nasty thinking. My wife broke down. My friends were heartbroken. No amount of preaching could lift my spirit. I was convinced that I had less than 48 hours to live. A lot of counsellings, phone call etc all fall on a deaf ear. I saw myself dressed in KSJI robe and well stretched in a beautifully decorated casket. I called my wife and started advising her on how to take care of the kids after I had gone.
Back to the Hon. Commissioner’s office, he took time to monitor my oxygen saturation for more than 30 minutes and found out that I may not make it across the night without an urgent support. He advised that I be moved to any of the protective care centres or any private hospital of my choice. For proximity, we settled for Apex Hospital close to the State Secretariat. On getting to the hospital, one very young doctor, Dr. Ebuka Umeh took over my case. He fixed me with oxygen support immediately. Dr. Ebuka, cured majority of my fear problems unknowingly. One Mrs. Jennifer that worked with the Hon. Commissioner, was able to remove my fear by 20 percent, Dr. Ebuka removed another 60 percent and thought of living gradually came back to me.
Friends, I was in oxygen support from Tuesday evening to Friday morning. Yes, Ogbuefinukoefi was on life support all this while.
By Wednesday evening, the result of the Covid-19 test for which they collected my sample on Tuesday was out and it was POSITIVE! I tested positive to Covid-19! This is no joke.
I had my first Covid-19 test on Tuesday 19th January, alongside my colleagues in the office and my result was NEGATIVE. 3 weeks after, I tested POSITIVE. Just within 3 weeks.
My good friends, I took this time to narrate my story, even when I’m not yet strong enough, for you to know that Covid-19 is real and its ravaging our society. It’s important to note that any fever, any headache, any cough and any catarrh should NOT be taken lightly at this time. If you have any of these symptoms, kindly treat Covid-19 first. Yes, go for Covid-19 treatment first. Any little delay can be fatal.
I am alive today because God wants me to be alive. I thank in no small measure, the Commissioner for Health, Anambra State, Dr. Vincent Okpala, this man is a dogged fighter. He never accepts defeat. The young Dr. Ebuka Umeh, working with Apex hospital is another genius in the making. This young man, ever ready to learn, will go places. Finally to my beautiful wife, my wonderful kids, the kids that sent their prayers from Abuja, my good friends and relations, all your prayers will never be in vain.
Covid-19 is real and here with us, killing our people every day under various names. Please let’s be very careful.