NAT 200602 ASIF GANI Doctor thanking his colleagues-1591083770635
Dr Asif Gani thanking his colleagues Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A COVID-19 positive doctor was pleasantly surprised when his colleagues decided to surprise him with a birthday celebration on May 31.

Dr Asif Gani, Operations Director at Medeor Al Ain, who had been on the frontline treating COVID-19 patients, tested positive a few weeks ago and is currently under treatment in the isolation ward of the same hospital.

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Dr Gani's colleagues approaching his ward for the celebration Image Credit: Supplied

On May 31, he was pleasantly surprised to see his colleagues outside the patient room singing a birthday song with a cake, balloons and a huge greeting card in their hands. The gesture touched him and his eyes welled up with tears.

Speaking to Gulf News, Dr Gani said: “This celebration was so special as it came at such a tough time in my life. It truly boosted my morale. I tested positive for the infection on May 11. It is now nearly a month since I have been in this room. I got calls from my family and friends wishing me on my birthday. I wasn’t expecting anything else. But the celebration planned by my colleagues was such a wonderful surprise. It was an emotionally overwhelming moment and instilled confidence in me. I thank the entire team for their love and care,” he said.

Al Ain doctor who contracted COVID-19 celebrates birthday Supplied

Jumbo card with best wishes

The best gift for Dr Gani was the special greeting card measuring 1x1.75 metres. Several colleagues wrote their personal messages to him wishing him a speedy recovery and lots of birthday cheer. “Wishing you the happiest birthday ever. Stay strong and recover fast. Eagerly waiting for you to join our frontline team,” read one of the wishes.

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The jumbo birthday collage Image Credit: Supplied

Ligy Ranjith, nursing manager at Medeor Hospital, said the whole plan was made by the staff. “We just wanted to show our love and care for Dr Asif in a unique way. So we planned to make this special card with wishes from all the staff at the hospital. We are happy that he is happy.”

An Indian expatriate from Mumbai, Dr Gani has been working in the UAE for the last six years. After the COVID-19 outbreak, he threw himself headlong into round-the-clock care for his patients, managing the fever clinic and the Emergency Department.

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A nurse handing over the card to Dr Gani Image Credit: Supplied

“Many patients were coming to the hospital with varied symptoms. Extensive arrangements were to be made. A fever clinic was set up outside the hospital just for those with COVID-19 symptoms,” recounted Dr Gani, ho would spend hours in the Emergency Department and at the fever clinic attending to the needs of patients and ensuring that everything was working well and in order.

Dr Gani said he took all precautions and wore his Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) always on duty but was taken aback when he tested positive. “I do not know how I have got infected. But the chances are that I contracted it from one of the patients, ” he said.