An Anadolu Agency shared a detailed photo journal Friday of his time recovering from the coronavirus in a Turkish hospital, with 17 days spent in an intensive care unit.
Rasit Aydogan took a COVID-19 test as a precautionary measure when he felt weak while on duty at the Turkish parliament in late November.
“I warned all my friends and the ones I contacted with to get tested as soon as I got my test result,” he said following a positive test result. “Fortunately, none of them tested positive.”
He said his symptoms increased during a quarantine process at home.
"Although I rested at home and regularly used the medication brought by the filiation team, my condition did not improve. Whatever I tried, my fever didn't drop,” said Aydogan.
“I called a private hospital near my home and told them about my condition. I asked if they would accept me if I went to the hospital. They said they do not accept patients with COVID-19 but they added that they could sent a medical team and apply an anti-fever treatment at home in exchange of 2,000 TL (almost $272),” he said.
Aydogan called 112 emergency call centers on the seventh day of his illness when he began complaining of intense coughing and shortness of breath.
“The paramedic returned me to my breathing, where I lost almost half of it with the oxygen tube he brought with him. Thanks to him, oxygen began to flow to my lungs," he said.
High-level efforts of medical personnel
He was taken to Etimesgut Martyr Sait Erturk State Hospital in Ankara by ambulance.
"I was discharged after 26 days of treatment, including 17 days in intensive care after the first intervention in the emergency department. I never imagined my treatment would be this long. Dozens of serums and other medications that were injected into my veins during my treatment told me much better what social security means,” said the reporter.
“I have witnessed the high-level effort of medical staff throughout my treatment process, both in intensive care and in the service. Maybe even the children of some patients are not as concerned with their parents as the health workers who work in the hospital."
Taste of tea
He said he could not drink tea for a few days after his discharge from intensive care.
“A few days before I was taken from intensive care to bed, the nurse filled a small pet bottle of tea they had brewed for themselves and brought it to me. I will never forget the taste of that tea that I sipped with great pleasure, perhaps healing me, for the rest of my life," Aydogan said.
Photographing treatment process
Aydogan said he was always thinking about his profession even while hopitalized. "On the one hand, you are struggling with illness, but when you have journalism in mind, you are desperate to surrender to the irresistible voice within you about making a note of history,” he said.
“With the reflex of my profession, I began to photograph various moments during my treatment with my mobile phone. I started filming my self-portraits. I wanted to show people the devastation of the disease by photographing myself.
“I also noted the difficulties I experienced from time to time. Sometimes I photographed the moments when I fed the pigeons that I become friends with in the hospital room, sometimes my own feeding moment. I took a lot of pictures until I was discharged," he said.
He emphasized the vital importance of complying with measures to fight the virus.
“I am frustrated to see people who, despite all the warnings, still do not wear masks against this disease, which has enslaved the whole world, limited our living spaces, rasped our social relations. I wish they could know what it means to be in need of a breath without getting caught in this disease,” he said.
*Writing by Merve Berker
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