A lady came to see me today. She walked gingerly from the waiting area to my room. She could barely speak through the mask, she was not wearing the exempt badge.
Her voice and tone were unusual, I could tell something was wrong.
"I have stiffness in my shoulders because I was lying down for too long. I had covid last year and suffered from severe pneumonia.
I was hospitalised and soon I was in a coma for a month". She said with a straight face , she was neither tearful nor she had a weary look in her eyes.
I was surprised to see her healthy and walking after she was comatose for so long
I was stunned, (maybe she could tell) because of a moment of silence.
She carried on , "I lost use of my tongue completely because of the ventilator. I had to learn how to eat, swallow and talk... all over again."
She was clear although her voice was feeble. Her description of what she endured felt short.
I hear these stories everyday, however to meet someone first hand and listen to their version was a unique experience for me.
She recovered from coma, had intense rehabilitation in the hospital and was discharged not so long ago.
She continued her breathing exercises, speech therapy and she was proud to tell me she had been walking 30 minutes everyday this week. "Although I get breathless I make an effort to do my exercises everyday."
When asked about her life before this event- she said," I was going to start a new job after I was made redundant.
"On my first day I was hospitalised and I did not even get my first day at my new job" I saw a little tear built up in her left eye, she paused as if she was gathering herself to speak the next word. I was completely in awe of how she has recovered not only physically but also mentally from such a traumatic event.
I felt her positivity around me, I was filled with awe ,wonder and felt fortunate to have met her.
Her goal for the session was to get exercises, to improve her shoulder movements and thus quality of life.
She is still walking, regularly attending her speech therapy and pleased with the exercises we discussed. I look forward to seeing her again and asking questions about her positivity , courage and motivation.
A true inspiration!!