Nigerian COVID-19 survivor recounts experience

Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, the Executive Director of StandtoEndRape, who contracted COVID-19 during a post-Commonwealth event in the United Kingdom, has recounted her experience in the isolation ward.

Recowacerao – Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Speaking to the West African Catholic Church agency, Recowacerao, Osowobi briefly recounted her experience and battle with the disease in Lagos’ Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba.

Seriously ill

Osowobi said that days after her return from the Commonwealth event she fell sick during self-isolation at home and was taken to hospital. Later she tested positive for COVID-19. While in the Isolation ward, she lost appetite, had nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

In her own words: “Life finds ways of throwing Lemons 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. Days after, I tested positive for COVID-19. The next days were tough. No appetite. Nausea, vomit and stooling were unbearable. I’m a blood type A and COVID19 dealt with me,” Osowobi told Sodiq Oyeleke of Punch newspaper.

I thought I was going to die

“I thought I was going to die and contemplated a succession plan for StandtoEndRape. I was on drugs daily. Sometimes, I had taken eight tablets in the morning, thirteen tablets in the afternoon, ten at night. My system threw everything out! Water, food, soap and all disgusted me. But I had to look at the wall and force myself to stay hydrated. I fought to live! I fought!!”

The coronavirus survivor encouraged the younger generation to desist from smoking and live a healthy lifestyle. “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!”

Need for more testing capacity

Osowobi added that there was a need for the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to improve the country’s testing capacity. “NCDCgov and State Governments need to improve their testing capacity. Test mild/asymptomatic cases too. Sending strength to everyone who is fighting to beat COVID19.” Osowobi continued: “Some stigmatised me based on an article in (the) national daily with subtle messages like ‘why did she come back to Nigeria?’ (Today) I am faced with tears of joy. Nigeria is my home. Coronavirus is not a death sentence. People can survive, and I have!”

Now discharged from hospital, Osowobi is encouraging people to follow the advice of health practitioners and government authorities.