NEWS

‘Ignoring signs of COVID-19 was a mistake’

“I never thought COVID was real especially when my friends talked about it. When I had the symptoms, I kept telling myself that it was flu,” Ms Salusalu said.
04 Aug 2021 12:57
‘Ignoring signs of COVID-19 was a mistake’
Leba Kacibula Salusalu was one of those Fijians who never took COVID-19 seriously until she tested positive

A COVID-19 patient who faced a near-death experience from the killer virus says her biggest mistake was ignoring the signs.

Leba Kacibula Salusalu, 35, was one of those Fijians who never took COVID-19 seriously until she had tested positive.

Ms Salusalu said she was stressed when she received her COVID-19 result, and her symp­toms began to get worse.

“I never thought COVID was real especially when my friends talked about it. When I had the symptoms, I kept telling myself that it was flu,” Ms Salusalu said.

She said it was not until she had fainted and had headaches and body pain that she told herself to stop denying the symptoms.

Ms Salusalu began to look for herbal medi­cines which included vevedu, pawpaw leaves and resorted to daily steam baths.

But this did not make her feel better. She said her sisters-in-law and husband started to ex­perience symptoms and the herbal medicine helped them but not her.

“My husband kept encouraging me to be strong and not to give up.”

She said the Ministry of Health and Medical Services staff continuously called to check on her and when she could not take the pain anymore, she requested to be taken to the hos­pital.

At the Vodafone Arena FEMAT Field Hospi­tal, Ms Salusalu was given an oxygen mask for three days and given an injection every six hours.

“I started to smell and taste food again and I felt that I was getting better.”

However, much to Ms Salusalu’s dismay, upon her departure from the medical arena, her mum had arrived in an ambulance.

“I called out to her, and she cried as she an­swered. All the happiness I was feeling that I was finally going home was replaced with sad­ness.

“I cried as I told her that I was discharged. I turned to the nurse and asked if they could let me spend another night at the arena so I can spend a night with my mum, but I was told that I couldn’t because I was COVID nega­tive, and I might contract the virus again if I stayed.”

“I looked at my mother with tears in my eyes and reminded her to be strong and asked the nurse to look after my mum well.

“We prayed and asked God to protect my mum and my brother stood outside with tears in his eyes as he was about to take me home.”

Ms Salusalu hopes that her story would change the mindset of Fijians who are taking COVID lightly.

“COVID does not care about who you are. I count myself lucky to be alive.”

She is calling on Fijians to adhere to all COV­ID-19 protocols.

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj

 



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