This is Mohammed. He is a vascular surgery resident.
“I often provide care to critically ill patients at risk of losing their life or limbs. Unfortunately, such emergencies do not cease during a pandemic.
I was recently paged regarding a 34-year-old female who had multiple stab wounds to her neck and chest. Given the severity of her injuries, she required urgent surgical repair. As the Trauma team continued to aggressively resuscitate her, I called her partner to provide an update.
My telephone conversation with him was a stark reminder of the privileged position my team and I were in.
He completely trusted us to act in his partner’s best interest – without having ever met us.
Once in the operating theatre, I vividly remember thinking that this patient might not survive. However, with the expertise of the entire team we were able to fix her injuries. It was now time to update her partner once again over the telephone. Although I could not see him, I sensed his immense relief as he repeatedly thanked me for saving her life.
That night, I could not change the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, but I am proud that I contributed to changing this patient’s trajectory.
The pandemic has been a humbling experience. It has forced many of our patients to go through some of their toughest times in isolation without the support of their families. It has also pushed myself and my colleagues to demonstrate resilience and go above and beyond for our patients. I recognize that we have a responsibility to provide high-quality, essential medical services during these trying circumstances, but we must also continue prioritizing our personal well-being in order to do so in a sustainable manner.”