Our first Delta patient was a pivotal case for us. He was the dad of a young child. He lived in a local town and he went to the footy. He was a strong, robust man. He’d had one vaccination so he had some ability to fight the disease. He wasn’t one of the people who were unvaccinated and got super sick. He never needed to be intubated, so we were always talking to him and he was conscious throughout.
He sat in a bed for two to three weeks and he lost about seventeen kilos. He was so fearful every single day that he was going to die. He really couldn’t rest or sleep. His whole days were taken up with breathing and just trying to breathe.
To see a big, strong man not able to help lift himself up to sit on a bed pan…we really had to do absolutely everything for him.
What was really shocking to us was the combination of his deterioration, his muscle loss, the complete shortness of breath and his inability to do anything.
He started off with us looking like this big, strong man and when he left us, he was skeletal. And that was unique—watching a grown man wither away because of a virus.
And I kept saying to him, ‘Mate, we aren’t going to let you die from this. We will one way or another get you through.’