PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Not all heroes wear capes, especially in the case of a woman in Kuala Lumpur who needed to don personal protective equipment to take care of her 84-year-old grandmother who had Covid-19.
It was the ultimate trial for Ms Siti Aishah Ibrahim when all 12 members of her family tested positive after one of them had contracted the virus on July 13.
“All of us, including uncles and aunts, live in six houses as neighbours, so when one person tested positive, everyone else had to do a swab test,” she told mStar, Star Media Group’s Malay-language portal.
“My first swab test was negative, but my grandmother had a positive result.”
The 36-year-old project executive bought PPE so that she could help care for her grandmother at her home.
“My grandmother was admitted to the hospital after she collapsed from a heart attack early this month. After that, she was not very mobile,” said Ms Siti Aishah. “When she was discharged, we arranged for the same hospital bed to be used at home.”
She added: “As I am close to my grandmother, I would use the PPE to care for her by feeding her, changing her diapers, and cleaning her.”
Although her grandmother was a Category 4 patient who required oxygen, the elderly woman was told to undergo home quarantine as the intensive care units in hospitals were full.
“The doctor advised this because we had a hospital bed and oxygen assistance at home, and my grandmother could be looked after by family members who were undergoing home quarantine as well,” said Ms Siti Aishah.
“However, I can only take three to four hours of wearing the PPE suit,” she said. “Although I had the air-conditioning switched on, it still feels so hot in the PPE.”
She added: “I really respect frontliners. I don’t know how they can use PPE the whole day long. I admire their sacrifice.”
However, Ms Siti Aishah had only been caring for her grandmother for about a day before she herself started experiencing symptoms.
After going through a second swab test, she was found to be positive as well.
Ms Siti Aishah said she hoped her experience, which she shared on TikTok, would lead to greater awareness among people to be cautious and not to let their guard down against Covid-19.