“1 month 11 days at Bheri Zonal Hospital”

The global pandemic that extended its root from China took a huge toil on my home
country(Nepal) and my family suffered the way most Nepalese families did. We never
imagined the intensity of this situation but when it came knocking at our door we realized;
this was trouble.
I came back home after a three day long trip from Chitwan. Mom was a bit drowsy than usual but my
brother on the other hand lost his sense of smell and taste which he realized the other day. So he
got his SWAP test done right away. He was tested positive a day after but dad got breathing issues
out of nowhere and we rushed him to hospital.

We got dad’s chest X-ray done and the doctors at Nursing Home revealed he had pneumonia feeding
of his lungs; a sureshot indication of Covid. They referred him to Bheri Hospital seeing my dad’s
serious condition.

Been a month and eleven days since we came here and within these days alot of things happened.
The situation got worse with each passing day during our initial days. Lack of medical attention,
wrong medication, shortage of oxygen supply, fluctuation in saturation. A lot happened and finally
we can see him recovering.
During these days, we witnessed many death. A father lost his young daughter while a mother lost
her son, a child lost his parent and someone lost their grandparent. With mortality rate being high
due to massive oxygen shortage 3 to 5 death was the new normal here. Who is to blame?

The incident that happened at Bheri where the health workers life was at stake shook us all but it
came with a lot of realization too. The frontline health worker are at rage and in some way it can be
justified but what about the voices that are still unheard.
My dad, 58 years old got his first attack after spending a few days at I.C.U. making him eligible for a
ventilator at saturation level 35. The saturation maintained with a CPAP mask and ventilator but he
still felt uneasy. We were worried. I didn’t know much about the monitor since it was my first time
seeing one but my brother noticed. Dad’s BP was 224/129.

I rush to the nursing station there were nurses and doctors who were monitoring from inside and
they came after an hour at his rescue. For medical queries we had to ask at least twice or thrice
sometimes leading to heated argument and sometimes they don’t listen at all. Carelessness from the
other side was concealed with medical terminology and the patient was the one to blame at most.
Dad’s saturation scoop below 45 every time when there was oxygen shortage but the worst
happened when saturation drop down to 35. We kept asking him to keep faith, breathe. The oxygen
came after 4 minutes but my dad saturation was 22. I looked at the ventilator and it notified “no
oxygen supply”. The machine was not working. We cried, we rushed it was afternoon but we could
hardly find any one. The doctor arrived when his hands and feet were numb(saturation level zero).

My dad who had his meal sitting on a chair, whose x-ray report showed recovery an hour ago was
now getting a CPR. He got back to normal breathing after a lot of struggle but he was merely
3 days after that attack a nurse on duty checked his blood sugar. His sugar was 93(lower than usual,
doesn’t require insulin at all) and he was given insulin without informing us. His sugar dropped down
to 23 at night and we only realized because of excessive sweating on his forehead.

There was no one around to help us. Some of them were sleeping, few were unavailable. We had a
doctor on the other side who had his father and sister admitted. He was not a staff at Bheri but he
still helped.

Dad got out of the ventilator two weeks ago. Covid put a huge toil on his lungs and it might take a
while. He gets nightmare on a daily basis and barely sleeps because of the trauma.
POV: There are frontline health workers who are doing great. Many put their life at stake, leave their
family home and work day and night for us. The work they do is remarkable.

Along side bad experiences we had good ones too. A sister(health worker) used to come and check
on my dad every day before leaving. Few of them came rushing when my dad suffered, few wished
for his well being and some doctors tried their best. I’m grateful for every breath that’s gifted to my

There’s two side to everything.
Outburst and rage during a crisis can lead to severe repercussions and both side suffer.

  • May 2021 – Sweksha Lakhe

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