UPDATED: April 22, 2021 12:54 IST
Doctor Saandhra Sebastian, a first-year resident doctor from Delhi, has narrated the horrific scenario that she has to endure in the hospital every single day in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and urged citizens to “wear masks correctly” and “not crib about not being able to step out.” Her interview was published on the social media accounts of Humans Of Bombay, and actor Abhishek Bachchan has reacted to it.
“I’m a first-year resident doctor; the first death I ever witnessed was on March 30, 2021, a Covid patient was admitted into our ICU. He was critical, but since he was in his 40s, I thought he’d pull through. The next day, he succumbed went numb. My seniors reassured me by saying, ‘2020 was much worse.’ But 2021 has superseded 2020. Now, 5 critical patients come in every day; 2-3 of them die on a daily basis,” Dr Saandhra told Humans Of Bombay.
She also narrated that she “felt dead from within” after a 22-year-old died of Covid-19 in the emergency ward.
“In the first week of April, a 22-year-old was admitted; he had to be intubated in the emergency ward. I never saw him consciousness chances were bleak. His 50-year-old parents would ask me, ‘Will he get better if we feed him fruits?’ and then they’d say, ‘Prayers can do miracles.’ But when you’re in the Covid ward, nothing works. On day 4, he passed away. His parents cried bitterly,” she added.
Adding that she refrains from giving “false hope” to patients’ families, she said, “Now, if somebody’s critical, I update the family by saying things like, ‘Pulse rate is dropping.’ I’m at least not giving them false hope. And I’ve learnt to lie to my patients when they ask me, ‘Will I be okay?’ I always tell them they’ll get better. I don’t want somebody’s final moments to be spent in anxiety.”
“In the past 2 weeks, I’ve witnessed the worst. The last words of one of my patients before being taken into the ICU was, ‘I have an 11 and 4-year-old at home I want to live.’ But a few hours later, I had to tell her kids that they wouldn’t get to even see her body one last time. When the youngest one yelled, ‘I want to hug Mumma,’ I didn’t know what to feel.”
Her parents reside in Kerala, and she worries about their health constantly. Not to forget, that the current scenario has affected her mental health to another extent altogether.
“Looking at all the dead bodies, I sometimes wish I’d never been born. My mental health has diminished. What keeps me going is that every day I’m out there, the chances of saving somebody’s life increases. I’m working as hard as I can, knowing that the other healthcare workers would do the same if my parents were hospitalised they’re in their 50s & stay in Kerala. I reassure them that things will get better. Still, I wonder, ‘What if I get COVID? Who’ll take care of my parents?’”
In conclusion, she added, “So, all I’m asking of you is to understand how bad it is out here and stay at home. Wear your masks correctly and don’t crib about not being able to step out. IT’S A PRIVILEGE TO STAY AT HOME PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT.”
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Abhishek Bachchan shared the story on Twitter and said in the caption of his post, “This is heartbreaking. PLEASE TAKE CARE, BE RESPONSIBLE!!!.
Dr Saandhra Sebastian also went viral last week after she shared an emotional post on her Instagram, requesting people to “just wear your masks when you are out.”
India is currently reeling from the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. 10 states including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan are among the worst affected by the pandemic and account for 80.76 per cent of the new infections reported in a day.