A Nigerian COVID-19 survivor, Ayodeji Osowobi, has urged Nigerians to stop the stigmatization of people who tested positive for the disease.
Osowobi, who was among the five patients discharged by the Lagos State Government on Monday, while encouraging people to get tested, said the pandemic disease was not a death sentence.
Osowobi in a series of tweet on Monday narrated her ordeal with the disease and how she came out of it.
Osowobi, who tested positive to the COVID-19 after returning to the country from the UK where she attended a post-commonwealth event, said she thought she was going to die when the disease became unbearable for her.
She tweeted, “Life finds ways of throwing LEMON at me. I have struggled with coming forward, but I want to inspire hope. I returned to Nigeria from the UK post-Commonwealth event and fell ill. As a responsible person, I self-isolated and also inform people I came in close contact with to get tested.
“My friend and I kept calling @NCDCgov to get tested. What if we didn’t persist? No info on my test result. At 12am, an ambulance was at my house. I woke from sleep and was crying. I got to the isolation centre, but no one was there to receive me. I waited in the ambulance for TWO HOURS.
“The nurses eventually came out and treated me like a plague. I sat in the ambulance feeling rejected. No questions about how I felt. So many questions about my travel history. Same information I had provided to NCDC and the Lagos State Government during profiling. Lack of data sharing!
“After two hours, I was taken to my space. I felt lonely, bored & disconnected from the outside world. The next days were tough. No appetite. The nausea, vomit and stooling were unbearable. I’m a blood type A & #COVID19 dealt with me. I thought I was going to die.
“Days after the doctors shared the good news that I tested negative. I shared this news with my family and friends! My blood sample was taken and I also tried to donate my plasmapheresis to help others. I hoped to be discharged. I waited to be discharged, but for two days, nothing happened.
“On the 3rd day, Doctors said, “Well, we worked with the info we had of you testing negative, but one result came back positive. You’ll stay a few more days. You know we take nose, mouth and sputum samples.
“I continued the medication and asked to be in a separate ward. Sadly, I remained in the same ward as all other rooms were full. My ward had people who were positive. What if I get re-infected? For them, I was a beacon of hope and they needed me gone to register the progress.
“Today, I am proud to inform you that I murdered COVID-19 and have tested negative twice. I have been discharged.
“Some stigmatized me based on a PUNCH article with subtle messages like “why did she come back to Nigeria? Nigeria is my home. Coronavirus is not a death sentence. People can survive and I have. We should encourage people to get tested and stop the stigma. Practice social distancing and stop the spread.
“NCDC and the state governments need to improve their testing capacity. Test mild/asymptomatic cases too. Sending strength to everyone who is fighting to beat COVID-19. To every young person out there, please give your lungs a chance to beat this. Can I encourage you to stop smoking and live a healthy life at this time? A healthy lung is key.”
However, when our correspondent contacted the Lagos State Ministry of Health to confirm the discharge of Osowobi, a source in the ministry confirmed that she was among the people discharged on Monday.