COVID-19 Patient Tells:This Virus Almost Killed Me!

 Ratuvili, 26, regrets not paying close attention to symptoms, swabbing
15 Jul 2021 12:34
COVID-19 Patient Tells:This Virus Almost Killed Me!
COVID-19 patient Antonio Ratuvili at Suva’s Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH).

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

Antonio Ratuvili, 25, said this was his original mistake.

Mr Ratuvili, who was discharged from the Colonial War Memorial (CWM) Hospital in Suva yesterday, said through the grace of God he was able to keep up with the virus, which almost took a toll on his health.

Mr Ratuvili was tested positive of the global killer virus on June 28, and was isolated at CWM since then.

“I was under the assumption that I must be suffering from the normal flu,” he said.

“Though it made sense from one angle, it was still an assumption… I was fighting for breath,… any physical activity was an effort,” he said.

“I had been suffering for weeks from a dry, nagging cough and, though these could have been symptoms of anything – from a common cold, to bronchitis, to the unforeseen combination of ‘co-morbidities’ that, over the next several days, it almost killed me – I had resolved upon coronavirus.”



He said at that point, self-diagnosis, followed by self-medication was preferable to him rather than seeing a doctor.

“In fact, I had considered calling a family friend who was a doctor, but that would have led straight to Emergency,” he said.

He was discovered by medical professionals through a concerned friend.

“Luckily, my good friend called me up and later initiated a break-in into my ‘quarantine’. Within an hour, the ambulance had brought me to the Emergency Department and because I was in such a bad way, I was quickly whisked into the ‘Red Zone’…. From here on in, there was no going back,” he said.



Today, he is pleased that he is still breathing!

“And with the right medication and support, I may continue to do so for some time. But I remember all too vividly the sensation of not being able to breathe.

“That sensation is as close as I have ever come to existential panic. But at least i now have a better understanding of what it means to gasp out the words, ‘Please, I can’t breathe’. ”

He is calling on Fijians who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to take the virus seriously and get swabbed.



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