Doctor Shares Experience with COVID-19: “I am Patient 194”

Doctors know that they signed up for the moment they enter medical school and spend so many years earning their degree and later becoming full-fledged doctors. They know that they will be exposed to countless diseases and medical emergencies.

But despite knowing the risks associated with their profession, they still become doctors anyway because they want to serve the people and help heal the sick. COVID-19 is different from the rest of the diseases, however. The highly contagious coronavirus strain has infected over 300,000 all over the world – many of the casualties are doctors and medical frontliners!

In the Philippines alone, three doctors lost their battle with COVID-19 while at least 10 others are still trying their best to survive. Some are getting better while others remain intubated.

SEE: PH Mourns Loss of 3 Doctors to COVID-19 in 2 Days, 10 Others Fighting for Life

Dr. Grace Caras-Torres is an OB-Gynecologist specializing in infertility at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City, but she also holds clinic at Metro North Hospital and Commonwealth Hospital.

It was on March 7 that she began to exhibit symptoms; though she first thought that she has chikungunya. It was only after some days that it finally dawned on her that she might have COVID-19. On March 14, she got swabbed for samples at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa.

Photo credit: Dr. Grace Caras-Torres / Facebook – ABS-CBN News

She learned of her positive status on March 19. While her symptoms weren’t as bad as those of her other colleagues’, some of whom are already intubated, Dr. Grace was scared because she had unwittingly exposed her senior citizen parents, 4-year-old child, and the rest of the family to the virus.

She would later share her experience on Facebook even as she continues to battle against the condition.

Ako si #PH194. Mabuti nang sakin nyo direktang malaman, kesa sa tsismis.

Hindi ko akalaing tatamaan ako agad. Nagsisimula pa lang ang gyera nun, casualty na ako. Akala ko chikungunya lang. High grade fevers na paulit- ulit. Kakaibang sakit ng ulo at katawan. Hindi makakain. Saka lang nag-sink in sakin na posibleng Covid nga ito nung malaman kong may symptoms din yung kasama kong mag-opera ilang araw nang nakalipas.

Diyos ko po, una kong naisip ang pamilya ko: ang anak kong 4yo, ang parents kong seniors. Inexpose ko sila, ang iyak ko noon. Di bale nang ako, wag lang sila. Nagkulong na ako sa kwarto. Nag-birthday akong nakaquarantine at may sakit na nakamamatay. Buti pala umabot pa ako ng 42.

Wala akong choice kundi libangin ang sarili ko sa pagbabasa ng soc med. Ang mga colleagues kong may covid ay naka-intubate. At 4 na nga silang namatay. Akala ko pagaling na ako, bigla akong nagtae. Sabi sa Wuhan, pag nagkaroon ng GI symptoms, tuluy-tuloy nang pumapangit ang kundisyon. Ngayon lang ako natakot. Napaiyak ako.

Hindi pa ako handang [mawala]. Masamang damo ako, di ba? Kelangan pa ko ng anak ko. Sasabak pa ko sa gyera… Hindi lang pala virus ang kalaban ko, pati katinuan ng pag-iisip. Kaya kamustahin nyo mga kakilala nyong may sakit, mga naka-quarantine, at ang pamilya nila. Kelangan nila ng pagpapalakas ng loob.

Sana matapos na ito. Sana gumaling na kami. Sana wala nang [mawala]. Miss na miss ko na ang anak ko. Ngunit salamat pa din sa lahat ng taong tumulong at nangamusta. Too many to mention. Mahal ko kayo. At Dyos ko, maraming salamat po at buhay pa ako at ok ang pamilya ko.

Praying for you, Dr. Grace and everyone battling COVID-19. Get well soon po…

Sources: Dr. Grace Caras-Torres / Facebook, ABS-CBN News