By Afiya Marcial
This Father’s Day was extremely special to my family.
You see, at the beginning of May, I received a call advising that I was a primary contact of someone who tested positive for Covid-19 and needed to be tested. I made the decision at that point to have my household tested as a precautionary measure. Turns out that my son, father, and I were positive. God knew why he spared my mother and husband, Akil.
As Covid wreaked havoc on our bodies, and despite feeling the sickest I’ve ever felt in my entire life, I knew the onus was on me to keep an eye on my dad given that my mum had to keep herself isolated from us.
Fast forward to Mother’s Day, May 9, 2021 to be exact, a day that has left an indelible mark in our family’s history. On this day and the series of events that followed, God showed my family that He was TRULY a way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper, and light in the darkness! Through nothing other than divine intervention and using every single angel on earth that day, God revealed that despite my father saying that he was coping with his symptoms, he really was in dire need of immediate medical attention. At a time when cases were at an all-time high, the parallel health system appearing to be on the brink of collapse and reports of Covid positive persons dying before the ambulance was able to get to their residence, God positioned His angels to organise an ambulance to get to us immediately.
From here on, as a family we were called upon to show how strong we were/are in our faith.
The paramedics donned in their PPE examined my father and noted his oxygen saturation level was just under 60 percent. They immediately started to administer oxygen to him and waited on word for which hospital had a bed available to accept him. We were told that Caura would take him. I remember purposely telling Akil not to pack a lot of clothes for dad because I felt that the more clothes he went with, the longer his stay.
Not knowing if it was going to be the last time I saw my dad, I summoned all of the energy and strength I could have while speaking to my sister on FaceTime and made the decision to exit my room so that we could both see daddy off and reassure him that everything was going to be okay. This by far was one of the scariest, most difficult, and emotional moments of our lives because apart from the obvious distance of my sister and her family residing overseas, there was now physical distance at home too as my mother, dad and I couldn’t hug each other.
The thought of dad being transported alone in an ambulance into the unknown created a pain more unbearable than what Covid was doing to my body and trust me, Covid was mashing me up!
Having been admitted to Caura, the doctors advised that based on dad’s severe condition, he really needed to be at Couva Medical Facility, but there were no beds available. The medical team started treating dad as best as they could, administering the highest dose of oxygen they could have along with medication to force his oxygen level to increase. Thankfully, they were successful in getting it to increase, but it was still way below the normal rate of 95 percent. This continued to be a major concern for the doctors which prompted them to make the call that no loved one ever wants to receive. The call where they tell you they’ve done all that they can but improvement is unlikely, so we need to be prepared for the worst to happen, and that deterioration will be rapid. At that moment, I went cold. I remember the doctor asking me if I understood what he was saying and if I had any questions. I managed to say that I understood fully and rushed off the phone to relay the bad news. I don’t need to detail the panic, despair, fear, and the host of other emotions that came on like a tsunami.
But God…once again He came to our rescue on May 11, 2021, and used another angel to make space for dad at Couva Medical. The next call received from Caura was confirmation that dad was being transferred via ambulance with immediate effect. Alleluia!
By this time, word of my father being hospitalised spread like wildfire and the good that came from that was there were prayer warriors near and far, known and unknown praying for his healing.
It became evident that dad was going to be hospitalised for some time. We felt crippled because the reality of our entire household being in quarantine meant even Covid free mum and Akil couldn’t leave the house to purchase the supplies dad needed nor the supplies we needed.
But God…he despatched His angels who selflessly braved going to groceries, pharmacies, fruit stalls and making hospital runs just to drop off multiple care packages for dad.
For the duration of dad’s hospital stay, the death toll increased at an alarming rate. Every day we held our breath when the MOH released the stats. While it was just a talking point for many, it was far more personal for our family. Each day hearing that “x” persons were casualties for that day was nerve-wracking, to say the least.
Dad’s struggle to sustain his oxygen level seemed never-ending and so were the prayers being sent up. Prayer warriors sacrificed their sleep, their own day-to-day activities and stormed Heaven with endless prayers. What we witnessed and received was truly the work of a community of angels.
Then came the breakthrough! God granting us mercy! The point where progress was finally being made. When dad’s oxygen level was finally at the acceptable level (albeit with tank supply). The miracles continued to unveil themselves one after the other. Dad managed to sustain his levels so much so that the doctors felt confident enough to start to wean him off the oxygen. This came with its challenges but on May 24, 2021, the decision was eventually taken to transfer dad to a step-down facility (SDF) where he’d continue to be monitored.
It seemed like dad was getting closer and closer to returning home. He spent four long days at the SDF where he fought hard to be completely free of oxygen assistance. Then, finally, on May 28, he was discharged.
This journey was very traumatic, to say the least, but we learned valuable lessons. God stayed with us throughout this entire ordeal. He positioned different people along the way who each served a very important purpose. I just want to thank each and every one of you who prayed with/for us, who talked us off of the ledge when dad’s prognosis seemed to only spell doom and gloom, who took a vested interest in our recovery, dropped off medication, all the very skilled healthcare workers and support staff who continue to work during this pandemic to save as many lives as they can.
So dad, thank you for fighting to stay alive so that we can celebrate …your day, Father’s Day! We love you!