‘I cannot express the fear I had’: Hornchurch boy, 11, gives moving account of mum’s Covid-19 fight

PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:47 06 May 2020

Hemanth Singh with his mum Komal. Picture: Singh family

Hemanth Singh with his mum Komal. Picture: Singh family

Singh family

A Hornchurch boy, 11, has written a moving and brave account of how his mum became critically ill with Covid-19 before recovering.

Hemanth Singh with his mum Komal, dad Sattesh and sister Vashika. Picture: Singh familyHemanth Singh with his mum Komal, dad Sattesh and sister Vashika. Picture: Singh family

Hemanth Singh told the Recorder that he wanted to reveal the first-hand experiences of his family and said that he hoped people would “see sense” and stay at home during the lockdown.

The Suttons Primary School pupil speaks with extraordinary maturity and describes his mum Komal’s condition worsening to the point that she had to be moved to intensive care at Queen’s Hospital.

Now we’ll leave it to Hemanth, who lives with his mum, dad Sattesh and sister Vashika, 12, to tell his incredible story.

As you already know, the coronavirus is one of the worst pandemics we will experience in our lifetimes. It caught us all off guard and now we all are struggling to fight back. A word has not been created that can describe the utter chaos we are amid.

I am one of the many that can describe what plight a patient must endure. This article will explain to you how exactly the past few weeks have been for me and my family. I am certain that my story will mirror others. I present to you, the story of my family.

Like many other children, I was at first flippant about the coronavirus and did not care that much about it. I washed my hands, but I did not have the careful attitude I should have had.

After the schools were closed, my life started altering. My mother had suddenly caught fever and a minor cough. At first, we thought it was just a seasonal cold, but a minor fever and cough turned into a mild fever and constant cough. She began self-isolation at the first sign of symptoms on March 23.

Her health started to seriously deteriorate on the following Monday. Breathing became a problem for her and things only got worse after that.

Later that week, we felt there was a need to call emergency services since she was compelled to constantly drink hot water to help her breathe and she refused to eat anything.

My father called 999 and requested for medical help and he was told that an ambulance was on its way, but it might take time.

After waiting for hours, we received a call saying that an ambulance could not attend to my mother and since she was conscious, there was no need for hospital treatment and advised to continue her self-isolation and try to recover at home.

The next few days were hellish for all the members of my family.

My mum had blood coming out of her throat and nose.

The nine days that she was at home provided her no sleep and my dad lost days of sleep too. He needed to provide my mother all the support whilst maintaining social distancing and taking care of us as well. My dad also has a pre-existing medical condition, so he needed to safeguard himself too.

On the night of March 31, her health suddenly took a turn for the worse.

The next few hours were the worst we had seen. Dad realised that my mother was not coughing. She wasn’t making a single sound. Me and my sister stood outside her door and called to her.

After minutes of calling, we figured that she was unconscious. My dad called emergency services. After hours of calling, an ambulance arrived at 3am and I was thanking God for it was like he had sent his angels to help to save mum.

Later that day we received a call from the hospital. We were told that my mum had shown all symptoms of Covid-19 and she also has double pneumonia. She had been put in intensive care and was critical and needing a lot of oxygen.

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The frontline team at Queen’s Hospital was truly amazing. The doctors and nurses have done their best to save my mum.

Me and my sister tried our hardest to keep calm through the tough times and we knew that this was the time to stand together as a family.

Our neighbourhood had showered us with their love and care. Every day, they sent messages, conveying their love and support.

They helped us in every way possible, including offering food and bringing basic groceries. Without their help, I do not know how we would have gotten through all of this.

I cannot express the fear I had within me during all this time.

Finally after six days, she was able to breathe by herself and was discharged. I did not know then if that was good or bad because I felt as if she should have stayed in hospital until she fully recovered and be out of Covid-19.

After being discharged and sent home in an ambulance with advice to self-quarantine for another 14 days, finally Mum was home but once again isolated.

She slowly and steadily improved. She was very weak, but we knew she was overpowering Covid-19. This thought alone gave me immense satisfaction, something that I had been deprived of for many days.

I am cannot convey how lucky she was to recover. I am aware of the situation around the world and how not all were as lucky as my family.

But it is impossible for me to imagine the situation of those that are less privileged.

I then realised how fortunate we were that we could manage and facilitate mum in a room which had an en-suite bathroom.

If we all had to share one room or one bathroom, I am certain that the entire family would be infected.

Her instinct of self-isolation and sacrifice was great. This journey was certainly mentally stressful, but we will fight as a family.

After all that has happened, I hope that now people will see sense and follow Government guidelines and stop leaving the house for unnecessary activities.

If we want to end this lockdown, then stay home and let us have no new cases of the virus. The sooner, the better for lockdown to go away.

I am very thankful to what the NHS has done to help my mother. I am thankful to everyone on the frontline for their sacrifices to keep the country running.

There is a lot to learn from this. The NHS has always been a matter of politics, a tool for politicians to impress the public.

Now, more than ever, is the time to keep politics aside and work for humanity.

Improve basic facilities at hospitals. We need to support each other because we are fighting a foe that cannot be harmed by bullets but by bravery and support. This virus will not see distinguish religion, caste, colour or nationality so why should we?

I hope that someone will read this and will try with all their might to help humanity beat this lethal adversary.

I pray for all the Covid-19 patients fighting this virus and those people who are awaiting the return of their beloved.

However, I feel very sorry for those who have lost their loved ones and may their soul rest in peace.

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