“All news headlines were literally puzzling my mind about the current situation and then, an email popped up around 1 AM. I was assigned the duty at the COVID ward and PPE kits were waiting.
On my first night duty, when I reached, ambulances were coming one by one from the main gate to the COVID building. The whole environment was very tense. We received a list of things from the Hospital about our role and also about safety precautions.
PPE kits were received and I found myself juggling to fit in that. After a few minutes, finally I was in the kit but sweat was dribbling like water from my body. Then I realised how hard it would be for all healthcare workers to do duties for long hours.
I got placed in ICU and when I stepped into the ward, I could hear eerie noice of a machine showing BP, pulse and oxygen saturation in addition to the voices that were groaning for the oxygen despite of full oxygen supply.
After completing 4-5 hours of duty, I went for doffing ( process of discarding PPE). The sound of the machines and the cries of the desperate patients were echoing in my ears.
Next day, I was better prepared. I stepped in the ICU with a little more faith. Everything was going at its pace. We were updating the treatment sheet for that day.
In no time, I decided to took a round to check if the patients were stable. I found a man gasping for oxygen. His son and wife were assuring him that he will be fine soon. I immediately informed staff nurse to call the doctor.
The doctor started CPR and we were instructed to palpate carotid, radial and femoral artery respectively. The nurse were instructed to inject Atropine immediately. After 20 minutes of CPR we failed to palpate the pulse.
That was the first death I witnessed as a frontline worker. Those screams of his wife and son filled with immense anguish pierced my heart all the way out at that very moment.
This disease isolates you. I saw loneliness, desperation, the fear of staying away from family and no one to talk to.
The biggest responsibility was to sound positive in the worst of situations, to keep smiling behind the PPE suit so that it resonated in my voice.” said Diya Sheth