Several weeks ago, we saw a video on Twitter of a woman being discharged from The Royal London Hospital after undergoing treatment for Covid-19.
The woman in the video was Amirun Nahar Choudhury who lives in Stepney, and in this interview we speak with her son, Omar, about how she’s feeling now.
Tell us some information about your mother:
My mum’s name is Amirun Nahar Choudhury, she is 59 years old and lives in Stepney, London, and she comes from Bangladesh.
When did she start to feel unwell, what were her symptoms and when did she decide to go to hospital?
My mum got a cough that started in December 2019 and she was constantly complaining of dryness in her throat. It was a cough that was dry and sometimes she would have mucus buildup. My dad and sister got her some cough syrup from over the counter to help her overcome it, but it didn’t help.
She started to get temperatures and night sweats but we though it was her cancer causing this because my mum is a follicular lymphoma cancer patient and a type 1 diabetic. Early on, my mum’s consultant also advised my sister to get her some over the counter medicine to help her.
My dad passed away on the 23rd of March 2020 to what was presumably due to Covid-19. After my dad passed away, we did not see her because we kept her in complete isolation. It was a very difficult time for my mum because none of us were with her and she was all alone. A week later she wasn’t feeling good. Her cough was much worse, she had a temperature, plus she was having a lot of difficulty breathing. She didn’t look or sound good and when we saw her on Facetime she told us to call an ambulance for her.
With the lockdown in place it was really difficult to go and visit her on the day she went to the hospital. My sister had to call an ambulance and all communication was done through the phone. The ambulance crew were really nice; they were helpful and dealt with the situation very nicely and efficiently. We were worried, but the guy reassured us that she will be fine and told us what the plan was which gave us much hope and confidence. They said she might have sepsis.
How long was she in hospital for?
My mum was in hospital for nearly 4-and-a half weeks. During this period, the nurses and doctors were really kind to allow us to cook and deliver food to her whilst she was in ICU. This was a special requirement because of having a really bad mouth sore and ulcer. This was super helpful as it helped her carry on eating a very tiny amount which she had actually stopped doing. This gave her the energy and boost she really needed.
What was her experience like in hospital?
She was really happy with the doctors and nurses! Communication was a slight barrier, but she somehow overcame it. The nurses allowed us to communicate with her via Facetime which really helped us and her as well.
It was a daily routine and it gave our family the much-needed confidence to appreciate the service provided by the NHS and it was indeed what saved my mum. The doctors and nurses kept us up to date with my mum’s condition which was Covid-19 that they treated her for. My mum is so happy with the staff at The Royal London Hospital on Ward 13F that she’s constantly telling everyone that the staff were so nice and sweet and that they saved her life.
When was she discharged and able to go home?
My mum went into hospital on the 2nd April 2020, and she was discharged on the 6th May 2020. This was after the doctors felt she was fit enough not to be on the oxygen and was able to walk with her stick and eat little amounts that she managed.
How are you feeling now she’s home?
It’s really nice now that she’s back. She hasn’t fully got back to her usual self, most likely due to mourning my father’s sudden death so the shock is still in her system. She is gradually starting to eat, and by communicating with family members, progress can be seen in terms of her mental health.
She is very happy but confused. It’s been a very traumatic experience for her over the last few weeks along with all my family members. Hopefully, time will help her to heal along with all the medication and happy memories she has of my dad.
Any final words you’d like to mention?
We have focused so much on my mum who is a very vulnerable person, that it made us forget our dad who left us. But once again, I would like to thank the doctors and nurses at the Royal London for giving our mum a new chapter in her life.