"Hope and faith pulled me through" - Sr Joshua on her ICU COVID-19 experience
Sr Brenda Joshua says hope and faith pulled her through her ICU COVID-19 experience. She is a professional nurse at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, spent 3 days in the intensive care unit (ICU) and a total of 10 days in hospital battling her own case of COVID-19.
“The one thing I want to stress is that when you are weak there, and in your bed, whether you’re in hospital or at home, there is always hope.” This is the one thing Sr Joshua would want everyone to remember. “The frontline hero for me during my battle with COVID-19 was God. Faith and hope pulled me through,” explains Sr Joshua.
She initially felt ill and had shortness of breath and immediately informed her supervisor. She was sent to the staff screening and testing facility at the hospital before quarantining at home while waiting for her test result. Two days later she received news that she was positive and her son also entered quarantine with her, as he was a close contact.
Her children were initially shocked but quickly got all the relevant information from the provincial hotline. They were briefed on how to care for their mom and when to contact emergency services. “With a good support system from my children, it was fine for us as a family,” says Sr Joshua.
A few days into her isolation, she started feeling worse and struggled with shortness of breath. Being a diagnosed asthmatic, she was concerned and her son called for an ambulance. Sr Joshua was transferred to a medical facility where she was treated with high flow oxygen and started her road to recovery. She has high praises for her faith and everyone involved in her recovery, from the nurses to the doctors, the entire multi-disciplinary team.
The three days and nights in ICU were some of the scariest times for her: “Looking through the window and seeing others intubated really got to me,” she confesses. “Wondering if I would see my family again, or whether that was the last goodbye when I greeted my son at home. Going through that time was really difficult.”
Sr Joshua has a few tips for those concerned about severe cases of COVID-19. “A positive mindset is essential to overcome this coronavirus. A high level of anxiety is not good for your overall health. Listen to the experts and confirmed facts.”
Returning to work was a highlight for her. “I had an amazing reception back at work. I had amazing support from everybody: doctors and everyone from the Red Cross family. I want to thank each and every one for their support.”
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Image caption: Sr Brenda Joshua