Back from the Dead: Nursing Student on Recovering from Nipah Virus
Ajanya with nurses from the hospital.
Ajanya with nurses from the hospital.Photo Courtesy: The News Minute)

Back from the Dead: Nursing Student on Recovering from Nipah Virus

At first, there was a mild fever. Then her temperature shot up and M Ajanya felt weaker as days passed by. On 18 May, when her health deteriorated, she was shifted to Chest Institute attached to Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode, where she lay unconscious for more than a week.

When the 19-year-old regained consciousness on 31 May, she had no idea that she had recovered from a deadly virus outbreak that had claimed the lives of 17 people.

Ajanya is the first patient to recover from the Nipah Virus that affected areas of Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.

When the second-year nursing student woke up in her ICU bed on 31 May, a doctor on duty told her that she had survived a deadly virus.

Ajanya told The News Minute over the phone,

At that point, I didn’t know the extent of damage the virus had caused. The doctor told me I had recovered from it and I felt happy.
M Ajanya

In a week's time, Ajanya, who is a student at Government Nursing College, will return to her college to continue with her studies.

Ajanya was posted at Medical College Hospital from 30 April to 5 May, as part of her training. This was the same time the first Nipah victim was admitted at the hospital for treatment.

Also Read: Nipah Virus: Kerala CM Promises Medical Reimbursements

Days At the Isolation Ward

After gaining consciousness, Ajanya spent more than a week at the isolation ward of the hospital. Her father who is a daily wage labourer and her mother, who is an ASHA worker, kept her company at the ward.

We had a room to ourselves where my parents used to spend time with me. In the ICU, the doctors and the nurses were wearing the protective gear. The nurses who came to attend to me at the isolation ward too, were clad in the protective gear.
M Ajanya

Having been discharged on Monday, 11 June, after weeks of treatment, the sudden media attention took her by surprise.

“I recovered from a disease that people across Kerala feared. At times, it is hard to believe that. But the dedication shown by the medical staff is unparalleled,” she says.

Even from her school days, Ajanya wanted to work in the medical field. When the opportunity to join the nursing programme came along, she grabbed it with an open mind.

"The nurses at the hospital have spent hours taking care of me, I will always remember them. How can I ever forget their selfless service?” she asks, adding that they will always be her role models.

(The article was first published in The News Minute and has been re-published with permission.)

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