Oguna: My recovery from Covid-19 is a miracle

Government spokesman Cyrus Oguna says he is lucky to be alive. 

Oguna who has finally opened up about his battle with COVID-19 and his near-death experience at a city hospital where he was on supplemental oxygen for 28 days, chronicled his journey to recovery on his official twitter account.

In what reads like a story of a journey from earth to hell and back, Oguna reflects on his almost two months of recovery in an experience whose devastation he says he would not wish on anyone.

“Reflecting on my time in hospital, I can only imagine what all the Covid-19 victims who succumbed might have gone through, and I must admit that I am extremely lucky to be alive.” Oguna opines.

A month after he was discharged from hospital having being declared Covid-19 free, Oguna says remnants of the disease are yet to clear from his body.

“It has been a month since my discharge, and I still do experience occasional episodes of breathlessness, lack of taste and smell. The doctor indicated these residual symptoms and the after-effect would take a while before everything settles back to normal,” Oguna says.

Oguna says he now appreciates the good things that life offers including the smallest things that people take for granted.

“Getting to feel the sun rays again; to freely interact with nature; is a blessing. These are some of the things we take for granted, and one wouldn’t know how important they are to the well-being of an individual until one cannot experience them”. He observes.

His troubling journey kicked off in mid-July while on his way to Mombasa for an official assignment when he noticed that he was sweating heavily though he thought it was as a result of fatigue and the effects of July weather.

“I remember asking my colleagues in the vehicle whether they were feeling the same. None was. We rolled down the vehicle windows, which offered some relief.” Oguna recollects.

He would visit Kilifi and Kwale counties over the course of the week before travelling back to Nairobi only to leave again for Hola the very next day.

But it is when he arrived back in Nairobi three days later that he sensed that all was not well and consulted a doctor for a normal check-up. This even as he ruled out Covid-19 having recently tested negative for disease for the third time.

At the hospital, the nurse checking his vitals he says looked disturbed, and asked whether he was experiencing any headache and fatigue to which he responded in the affirmative.

The doctor considered in-patient management due to the pressure, but ordered for a Covid-19 test first. As a standard procedure on Covid-19, he was given some medication and allowed to go quarantine at home awaiting the test result.  Two days later, he would be declared Covid-19 positive.

Drifting in and out of consciousness

He was immediately booked in for inpatient management.

“I was generally okay. But I was wrong!

The storm struck that very same night. I suddenly woke up in excruciating pain in my chest. Breathing was extremely difficult & any effort to do so felt like a bayonet was being driven through my chest. I was literally gasping for air” he explains.

Oguna who was synonymous with the daily briefings by the health ministry during the initial months, says his condition went down rapidly after hospitalisation, his oxygen levels dipped to the lowest as the virus took a toll on him the same night he was admitted.

Doctors diagnosed him with hypoxia, a severe condition that marked the start of his precarious journey in the critical unit drifting in and out of consciousness.

”I was later informed that my lung function had been severely compromised due to acute Pneumonia, and that without oxygen, chances of survival would be remote” he narrates.

He adds “Even on oxygen, it was still extremely difficult to breathe, & any form of movement was unbearably painful, not only in the chest, but every other part of the body. Simple activity like turning around in bed was an undertaking. Soon, the little appetite I had left disappeared.

His condition deteriorated further a few days later, necessitating the doctors to raise the oxygen titration to the highest possible level of 15 cubic litres per hour.

He recalls how he collapsed in the washroom and a colleague came to his rescue.

“I had gone to the washroom which is only two doors away from my room, and had no strength to get back. The body just didn’t have any energy to propel it. Weak and in pain, groaning and gasping for air, I couldn’t call for help. 26/Even if I tried, no sound would come out. I simply sat in there, not knowing what would happen next. Then an angel came. A comrade in arms; Warrant Officer Wycliffe Tanui heard the groaning and came to check. He helped me to get up and back to my bed” Oguna recalls.

Terming the virus as lonely disease that sets one apart from the world, Oguna says the doctors are still astonished by his recovery. He thanks the facility for allowing his wife to visit.

He equates his recovery to the biblical story of Lazarus who came back to life.

“I also owe it to the many prayer warriors who fasted and prayed for me throughout this period. For those who believe, I can only equate my recovery to the biblical story of Lazarus truly, God listens.

He adds “Many people contributed to saving my life. I have nothing but respect and admiration for the doctors and all the healthcare workers who worked tirelessly to provide the best care for me and all other patients. They certainly played a key role in my recovery. I salute them”.

Indeed, his is a story of a snipper missing his first shot as he sums up his experience. 

“I am sharing my story with you as a Covid-19 survivor, well aware that if the invisible enemy had pulled the trigger, I would be just another statistic in its many hits.”


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