The death of Lini, a nurse who worked at Perambra hospital in Kerala, after contracting the Nipah Virus from a patient she attended to, had pushed the medical fraternity into a pall of gloom.
Now, a nurse working at Institute of Chest Disease at the Government Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode, where several Nipah Virus patients are being treated, has shared a heart-warming post that talks about how selflessly the medical staff have been attending to patients.
In a Facebook post, Ruby Sajna, a nurse at KMCH, wrote ecstatically about the recovery of a 19-year-old nursing student, who had recently tested positive for Nipah Virus.
Stating that Ajanya, the nursing student, is on the path to recovery from the deadly disease, nurse Ruby narrates how this recovery has come as a source of immense happiness for the team.
Ruby wrote in Malayalam:
She was brought in at the same time nurse Lini was brought to the hospital for treatment. Her (Ajanya) recovery gives us unparalleled happiness.
Ajanya, she writes, was admitted in a critical state – having been affected by myocarditis, and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, she also showed signs of encephalitis.
She came into our hands in a state of semi-consciousness. This was perhaps the first time that a Nipah-affected patient recovered from such a fatal state. This was one instance when I understood what it means to be proud and inexplicably happy.Ruby in her post
She also wrote that even as the media widely discussed the Nipah Virus and the government's handling of the crisis, there were numerous nurses who worked tirelessly, away from the limelight.
“Both audio and visual media in Kerala and society have been discussing the Nipah Virus and government interventions continuously. Wrapped in polythene covers, wearing N-95 masks, which makes it tough for us to breathe freely and with three layers of hand gloves it is the nursing community that attends to Nipah-affected patients in hot and humid rooms, but that is often not spoken about. More than the recognition that we get through such discussions, we are more gratified when someone like Ajanya comes back,” she wrote.
It was when I witnessed how the bodies of Nipah victims were being taken away from the hospital, that I began to think what the value of humans in this world is. Even when their own families stood away from the bodies, the staff did their duty without any issues.Ruby wrote in her post
Nurse Ruby said that the recovery of the nursing student was the collective victory of the medical staff.
"Even when our small mistakes get amplified and reported in the media, the media should also understand the brave and in a way, scary situation we are now dealing with. Even as the nursing student's recovery has given us happiness, our duty is not over; we now move on to other patients who need our care," she wrote.
Speaking about the nursing student's condition, a doctor who did not wish to be named, told The Times of India:
“She was in a very serious condition and there were episodes of seizures and we had to give her ventilator support initially. But she responded very well to treatment using Ribavirin tablets. She has now been shifted from ICU to an observation ward. With tests repeatedly turning negative, we can say that she has recovered."
Ruby's post has resonated with scores of people from Kerala, who have lauded the selfless service carried out by the nursing staff. The post, which was uploaded on 2 June, has received more than 18,000 shares so far.
(The story was first published on The News Minute and has been republished in an arrangement.)