When I arrived home after my 21-day at the JGH stay, the world was not the same. I speak of course of my surprise at seeing the empty streets, but also of my new vision of life. A vision that has certainly been modified by suffering, the unknown, the acknowledgment of how close I was to die, but above all by your actions.
My post-COVID has shattered great paradigms for me: on the definition of intensive care (9th floor) and post-intensive care recovery (6th and 5th?). I thought these two units were focused on aspects related to the recovery of the patient’s physical and mental health. But in my case, these two units were an inspiration that took hold in my mind fueling the desire to fight – thanks to the incredibly empathetic front-liners always there with a smile. Generous nurses who manage to calm you down when you most need it. When there are tears, they are there to cheer you up, every second, every day. And then there were the doctors who fought hard to combat the virus while demonstrating a rarely seen humanism. This instills an incredible trust from the patient because they tell you the hard truth, but at the same time extend their hand to you like a coach who makes you want to follow, to fight for him or her.
And then there was my opinion of the healthcare system in Quebec which has been turned upside down. I was very critical before my experience, but the system responded brilliantly for me in a total storm.
I wish I could write down the names of all the people who were instrumental in my survival (intensive care and 5th-floor recovery +++), but my memory played tricks on me during my recovery days. So if you see my photo and recognize me, please know that I am forever indebted to you because I am able to kiss my children and my wife every day. I will keep you in my heart forever and I run through your faces in my memory at night as a way of saying thank you in silence.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Pablo Gray – COVID-19 patient number 7