NAT 200703 Elsayad Sabra-1593763133692
Elsayad Sabra, who survived COVID-19, spent 80 days in hospital Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A 61-year-old COVID-19 patient who spent 80 days in a Dubai hospital, 58 of which were on the ventilator, has made a miraculous recovery, giving hope to those suffering with the infection.

His tale is testimony to the fact that the virus is not necessarily a death sentence.

Elsayad Sabra, an Egyptian expatriate, was admitted to the Dr Sulaiman Habib Hospital at Dubai Healthcare City with acute symptoms of COVID-19. He was brought to the hospital by ambulance in the first week of April after he fainted in a park.

Dr Aziz Yassiri, Head of ICU at the hospital, told Gulf News: “The patient was brought to the emergency and immediately transferred to the ICU as he was 61 years of age and showed acute symptoms. His case was particularly poignant as he has no family to support in the UAE.”

Dr Yassiri talked about the challenges and said: “Sabra’s case was a very complex one considering his age. He had a very severe form of COVID-19, suffered from pneumonia, respiratory failure and renal failure. This caused him stay on ventilator support for 58 days, the longest anyone has stayed on ventilator with us and in the ICU for over 14 days.”

Slowly, when his condition stabilised, he was weaned off the ventilator and provided oxygen support through a cannula and eventually was able to breathe on his own. He was discharged after almost three months of hospital stay.

A delighted and relieved Sabra told Gulf News: “I had no idea that the UAE had such an excellent healthcare system and I feel the timely help I received at this hospital played a great role in helping me recover from COVID-19. I am happy and feeling very optimistic now. The whole journey was challenging but fortunately I survived to talk about it. I am sharing my story because I want to give hope to others who might be in the same situation now. I want to tell them, follow the rules of social distancing, wearing of masks, hand hygiene. If you have symptoms go in for an immediate screening and early diagnosis. if found positive, get into self-isolation, or hospital quarantine whatever is prescribed by the doctor. That can save you. I am feeling happy, healthy and in high spirits after a 80-day stay. You can fight back just like I did.”

Sabra added that he was touched by the kindness of the doctors and nurses who were dedicated and hardworking and treated him with complete Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). “I got better because of the round-the-clock care I received at the hospital.”