Away from all the major updates and statistics, this personal account by Jiang Ting, a nurse with Guangdong Second Provincial General Hospital, reflects what it is like for perhaps hundreds of thousands of frontline medical staff battling this virus throughout China.
It’s 4 am on Monday when my colleague, Yi Bingkun, and I finished the night shift. It’s the 50th hour since we arrived in Wuhan to help fight against the novel coronavirus. The situation here is far more grievous than what we imagined, with more suspected cases and an acute shortage of medical staff. We are here to bring them hope, but it seems that we assume more responsibilities.
The ward was almost overloaded during our first night shift and we continued to receive more patients. My colleague and I plunged into work without delay after wearing protective suits.
However, an emergency occurred when a patient went into sudden cardiac arrest when we had just changed shifts. Kun (my colleague Yi Bingkun’s nickname) rushed to give chest compressions to the patient and I called a doctor for help.
The patient, unfortunately, died of severe illness after all rescue measures failed. The patient’s family, however, sent their gratitude to us. Their every single “Thank you” makes me feel warm and that the efforts we’ve made are worthwhile.
But Kun brought me more warmth because of his bravery and spirit.
I once asked him whether he felt afraid about the possibility of becoming infected when saving the patient. He told me that, “Yes, I was really scared at the time because I do have my family and my kid. But I was more afraid that the life might disappear in front of me.”
I’m really proud to have Kun as my team member.
Our night shift should have been finished at midnight, but it ended at 3 am that night. We found our clothes were drenched after we took off our protective suits. I remember that it was 5 am when we finished washing.
What is impressive is that my colleagues messaged us, worrying why Kun and I didn’t come back with the clock pointing to 1 am, 2 am or even 3 am. They urged us to let them know we were okay as soon as we came back. The tiredness soon lifted.
Kun and I were in a hurry to sum up our work last night at 8 am. Kun even drew a rough sketch of the ward to our colleagues, Xiong Minlong and Jiangjie, who cheered each other on at the time.
Wang Yan, associate chief physician of our hospital’s respiratory department, gave us lectures and advice during breakfast. Sun Liang and Zhong Lina also joined us for logistical management and preparation work.
The weather is really cold but we feel warm from the bottom of our hearts.
Come on, Wuhan! Come on, all my colleagues!