Fear, Solitude: Kenyan COVID-19 Survivor Shares his Story

Allan Bahati, 37 year old Kenyan living in Berkshire, United Kingdom has shared his COVID-19 survival story with Capital Lifestyle after spending three weeks in strict isolation. He talks about what he went through, what he learnt  and information he would like to share with others.

Allan got infected last month after a regular visit to the gym. Three days after this visit, he developed COVID-19 like symptoms. It started with flu/ malaria like symptoms, he said, followed a few days later by shortness of breath, loss of appetite, high fever, dry cough, headaches and dizziness.

Allan, before COVID-19 infection

“I Couldn’t take a full breath or even complete a sentence because I would cough for five minutes straight. I had to get an inhaler.” He called the UK National Health Service (NHS) on the third day, who ran a verbal test on the phone and confirmed the worst, he had 8/10 COVID-19 symptoms. The only way he would get admitted was if his condition deteriorated and could not breath on his own.

“I got progressively weaker, always nauseous and I was sleeping three times a day for 4-5 hours at a time. All my shopping was delivered downstairs and it was quite a long and difficult walk because I was short of breath.”

Allan was in and out of consciousness for an entire week as he struggled to recover and gain strength. He was advised to take paracetamol based painkillers to regulate his body temperature and no codeine.

After fighting hard to recover, he spent his days watching informative videos and one of his biggest take-aways from them was that breaking human transmissibility for COVID-19 is all about prevention by practicing hygiene and distancing. 

“I was also drinking a homemade remedy of ginger, lemon and honey, traditionally known as Dawa and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in hot water every night. When possible, I would add cumin seeds and star anise.” 

Living through a pandemic like this is a difficult experience and Allan emphasizes the importance of  educating ourselves about the virus and having accurate information. “There’s plenty of conspiracy theories that can bring fear, so I avoided these where possible and chose to listen to the science and medicine behind it.”

After plenty of rest and isolation Allan is now fully recovered, he lost 3kgs and still takes lots plenty of fluids and vitamin C to boost his immunity.

Allan post COVID-19

“Surviving COVID-19 has made me very appreciative of good health and shown me the importance of resting and taking care of your health. I am now more aware of the fact that we are not here forever, so we must make the most of ourselves while here and live life in our own terms.

My family in Kenya have been very supportive, they always check in and now that people know I had the virus and recovered, I’m receiving a lot of questions on prevention and I am happy to help where I can.”

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