Oluwaseun Osowobi was one of the five persons discharged from the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) after fully recovering from the novel Coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

Although the government did not disclose the identities of the patients, Osowobi, an anti-rape activist, on Monday took to her official Twitter page to narrate her experience in order to inspire hope.

As the founder of Stand to End Rape. Osowobi was in the United Kingdom (UK) in February for a post-Commonwealth function only to return to Nigeria afterwards and became ill.

Narrating her experience in a series of tweets, she recalled how she was treated like a plague at the isolation centre by nurses who left her inside the ambulance for two hours.

The woman also explained how her persistent calls to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) paved way for her to get tested, after which an ambulance was sent to her apartment around 12am.

She wrote: “Life finds ways of throwing lemon at me. I’ve struggled with coming forward, but I want to inspire hope. I returned to Nigeria from the UK post-Commonwealth event (I totally enjoyed) and fell ill. As a responsible person, I self-isolated.

Days after, I tested positive for COVID-19.

“Before returning, I had planned several interviews. I was scheduled to start a fantastic consultancy job and was also expecting to sign a contract worth millions. I lost them all! I had to self-isolate and also inform people I came in close contact with to get tested.

“My friend and I kept calling NCDC to get tested. What if we didn’t persist? No information on my test result. At 12am, an ambulance was at my house. I woke from sleep and was crying. I got to isolation center, 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 Lagos State Government during profiling. Lack of data sharing!

“After two hours, I was taken to my space. I felt lonely, bored and disconnected from the outside world.
Few days after, another patient came in. We bonded. Days later, patients trooped in.

“Are people observing self-isolation and social distancing?” I was so scared for Nigeria. The next days were tough. No appetite. The nausea, vomit and stooling were unbearable. I am a blood type A and COVID-19 dealt with me.

“I thought I was going to die and contemplated a succession plan for @StandtoEndRape. I was on drugs daily. Sometimes, I’d take eight tablets in the morning, 13 tablets in the afternoon, 10 at night. My system threw everything out!

“Water, food, soap and all disgusted me. But I’d look at the wall and force myself to stay hydrated- drank ORS. I fought to live. I fought.

“Days after, the doctors shared good news that I tested negative. I shared this news with 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. I was unsure of what was going on. Why haven’t I been discharged? Should I be in the same ward? Could I get reinfected? I was worried but remained calm.

“On the third 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.”
Osowobi said she asked if she was still positive following this outcome but was assured by the doctor that she was negative.

“The doctor apologised for the delay. I was anxious to go home but remained calm. I wanted to be free from this pain. 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. My family and friends were becoming anxious.

“People in my ward who earlier celebrated the news of my result suddenly lost hope. “Why are you still here?

“You shouldn’t be here with us. You should be separated from us now…” People in my ward muttered.

“I tried to calm them. Today, I am proud to inform you that I murdered COVID-19 and have tested negative twice. I have been discharged. I bless God for His mercies.”

The survivor thanked the nurses at the IDH, Yaba, for being hardworking, describing them as fabulous. She also thanked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for visiting, just as she praised the Health Commissioner Prof. Akin Abayomi and the entire health team at IDH.

“The food was good!…They protected my identity! Thanks to everyone who called, sent messages and tried to contact me. I am grateful and well.

“This experience reminded me of the value of friendship. Some people I refer to as friends speculated about this, but never reached out to check. Thank you still. Back to the grind!

“We should encourage people to get tested and stop the stigma. Practise social distancing and stop the spread.

“NCDC and State Governments need to improve their testing capacity. Test mild/asymptomatic cases too. Sending strength to everyone who is fighting to beat COVID19.”

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By Okoye Chidiebele

Am Flamboyant. Oku!

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