Despite the trail of darkness Covid-19 seems to leave behind it, there are also those who triumph over it, leaving the wretched virus behind them as a tale of victory to be passed down to future generations. Ustazah Nadia Hanim, 36-year-old mother of two, however, has not one, but two powerful stories to tell as she beat both H1N1 in and Covid-19.
According to a report by straitstimes.com, Ms Hanim back in 2009 looked death right in the face as her father and sister rushed her to the hospital in the middle of the night, after she woke up from her sleep struggling to breathe.
Ms Hanim, who swayed in and out of consciousness, said that on that night, she was prepared to face death. “My lungs felt on fire and my eyes were watery. I was gasping, trying hard to get air in. In my mind, I was telling God that I was ready if my life ended.”
However, despite having asthma, overhearing the doctors say her temperature had reached 43 degrees Celcius before blacking out, and her having to be put on a ventilator, she made it out of the close call with death, and was discharged from the hospital after about two weeks.
She had tested positive for H1N1, which was also a global pandemic back in the day, and she beat it.
Fast-forward 11 years. Ms Hanim revealed that on March 11, three days after she had returned to Singapore from a business trip to Jakarta, she began to experience a fever and body aches. A day after, her temperature spiked to 39.2 degrees Celcius, and she experienced breathlessness.
After having a lung X-ray, results showed that her lungs had patches, so she was put in isolation. Ms Hanim, however, said that this did not throw her off-guard. “I wasn’t surprised because my lungs have always been weak,” she said. “but I wasn’t thinking about Covid-19 at all.”
However, after she tested positive for Covid-19, the first thought on her mind was concern for her family–her two young children and her husband. Thankfully, they were not infected.
“My biggest fear was the kids getting infected. I would keep praying for them,” said Ms. Hanim, who was no stranger to the concerns of motherhood. Though throughout her isolation, her fever and aches were joined with nausea and diarrhoea, after two weeks, her condition began to improve. On March 29, she was discharged from the hospital. Her husband came for her, and the two went back home where their two young children were waiting.
Recognising the power in her story of triumph, Ms Hanim uses it to urge people to take the situation seriously. Furthermore, in her telling of it, she pays tribute to the health workers who took very good care of her and did not discriminate her for being infected. She remembers the names of the 35 frontliners who played a vital part in her story, saying, “Not once did they make me feel uncomfortable or awkward because I have the virus.” Knowing that they too have families, she honored them for their work. “They deserve to be acknowledged for their sacrifices,” she said.
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