Covid-19 patient recounts his odyssey in Italy

Biferali, who agreed to share his experience as a survivor to help other sick people in the world, still lives in isolation inside his home, where one of his daughters, a medical student, also resides.

Italian cardiologist Fabio Biferali compares the coronavirus to having a monkey hanging on his back, a weight that prevents him from breathing, added to the anguish of dying, which he was able to leave behind thanks to the medical personnel who saved his life.
Covid-19 patient recounts his odyssey in Italy 
Rome. -  Italian cardiologist Fabio Biferali compares the coronavirus to having a monkey hanging on his back, a weight that prevents him from breathing, added to the anguish of dying, which he was able to leave behind thanks to the medical personnel who saved his life.
"I had strange pains, as a doctor, I realized it was pneumonia. I felt like a monkey clinging to my back, this is how a patient of mine described his symptom and now, what I had," confesses Biferali, a Roman cardiologist, 65 years old. Eight days "isolated from the world" in the various intensive care and resuscitation wards for those infected with Covid-19 at the Umberto Polyclinic Hospital in Rome, said AFP.

"I cannot speak about this experience without crying. It left my tears easy, an infinite shock," admits the cardiologist, who feels, like all those who have recovered, an enormous thanks for his colleagues, the true heroes of the war against the invisible enemy.
"Honor to doctors and nurses!", Given after writing a heartfelt message to the doctor who heads the sector dedicated to infectious diseases, "a unique, modern, optimal, new pavilion", a few steps from the university city of the capital, which had just been luxuriously adapted for orthodontics and which has now been converted to receive the avalanche of infected people.

"The treatment for oxygen therapy is painful, looking for the radial artery is difficult, I have had up to twice a day. It helped me become a doctor, endure the pain, while other patients cried out desperately, stop, stop," he admits.
"The night was the hardest moment, I could not sleep, anguish invaded the room. During the day, doctors, cleaning staff came in, distributed food, all rigorously covered from head to toe. At night, nightmares came, I was nearly close to death", he confesses with a broken voice.

 Against the black hours

"Since I didn't sleep, I would count my neighbor's bed breathing thanks to the timer on my cell phone. I give myself the intimate task of taking care of him. That way I forget myself," he says.
 "I had dyspnea," he explains in a series of medical terms.
During the week he was hospitalized he was changed several times, first, he was with a young man who was contacted when he went skiing in the Alps in February, then with a serious elderly man in intensive care, then, already in resuscitation, with a full dressmaker tattoo artist who promised to engrave the word "Covid-19 END" if saved.
"I dreamed of a Porsche car, me with a plate of 'cacio e pepe' pasta," he reveals.

As a patient, he could always use his mobile phone, the only means by which he communicated with doctors and nurses, whom he could not recognize even if he wanted to.
"They were completely covered, hands, feet, head. Double gown, double glove. I could see only the eyes behind the glass mask. Affectionate eyes. I heard only their voices; many were young, front-line doctors. It was time to hope,” he admits.
The cocktail of medicines they gave him blocked the virus before it irreparably damaged the lungs.
 "They gave me drugs that didn't work, that could work, that worked. Nothing that is codified. Antivirals, against malaria and AIDS and even tocilizumab for arthritis," they summarize.
Biferali, who agreed to share his experience as a survivor to help other sick people in the world, still lives in isolation inside his home, where one of his daughters, a medical student, and his wife also reside.

"I was afraid not to see them again, to die without being able to hold my family's hands, it filled me with despair," he says while waiting for the tests to confirm that it is negative.
As a person passionate about music and politics, he recognizes that listening to the radio reading some books, such as "Farewell to Arms" by Ernest Hemingway, was key to trying to keep a balance.
"From now on, my battle will be in favor of public health, because it cannot be monetized, nor can it be a business for politicians. We must defend one of the best health systems in the world," he concludes.


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