Coronavirus Pandemic

Dubai: Covid-positive teacher makes 'miracle' recovery after multi-organ failure

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on May 25, 2021
Photo: Supplied

Doctors said he was one of the most critical cases of coronavirus they'd seen.

A 39-year-old school teacher has lived to tell the tale after a severe Covid-19 attack led to both his kidneys failing, his system going into septic shock, and his oxygen levels dipping to 30 per cent, as he was left gasping for breath on a ventilator for 15 days.

Doctors have called his survival a real miracle.


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When Filipino national Melwin M, who weighed 150kg, began experiencing bouts of fever with slight cough, he decided to treat himself at home with over-the-counter medicines.

However, when his condition worsened after a six-day onslaught of recurring fever and cough, he had to be rushed to a hospital after he began experiencing shortness of breath.

Doctors at NMC Specialty Hospital Al Nahda realised this would be a difficult case, since Melwin — who had a number of comorbidities, including obesity, a heart condition and hypertension — was struck by Covid-19 in its most severe form.

Dr Prashant Nasa, critical care medicine specialist and head of ICU at the hospital, said: “Melwin was one of the most critical cases of Covid-19 we have seen. When he was brought to the emergency room of the hospital, he had a high fever measuring 41 degrees Celsius (life-threatening), heart rate reaching up to 154 beats per minute and oxygen saturation level of 52 per cent. His chest X-ray revealed that he had extensive bilateral pneumonia (white lung) and we noticed his pulse had dropped to 20 per minute. His oxygen further dropped critically low to 30 per cent, despite being attached to a Bipap machine that helps one breathe.”

Due to the high level of infection, Melwin’s body went into septic shock. Both his kidneys failed, as he began experiencing multi-organ failure. He was immediately placed on a mechanical ventilator and shifted to ICU, since he'd stopped responding to any treatment.

Doctors put him on broad spectrum antibiotics, anti-coagulation drugs, IV steroids and other supportive measures, including beginning the dialysis process to deal with the acute renal failure he'd experienced.

Talking about the challenges they faced while handling the case, Dr Srinivasa Rao Polumuru, specialist in internal medicine and primary physician at the hospital said: “Melwin had hypertension, but he wasn’t taking medicines, which probably worsened his condition. Also, what added to the complications was his morbid obesity — he weighed 150kg with a body mass index of 52, and his heart function had dropped to 15 per cent due to Covid-19.”

Due to Melwin’ morbid obesity and his dialysis treatment, it was difficult to make him lie in a prone position (that helps one breathe better). After stablising his condition a bit, Melwin was made to lie in the prone position for three days, which resulted in significant improvement, doctors said.

Thanks to the multi-disciplinary approach, vigilance and relentless efforts of the doctors, Melwin began responding to the treatment gradually. His sepsis was controlled with antibiotics and his kidneys started improving. Cardiologists at the hospital also managed to control and stablise his heart condition with medication.

By this time, Melwin had tested negative six times and doctors were looking to discharge him, but his seventh test revealed he was again Covid positive, due to which he was asked to remain in the hospital for a few more days.


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After spending two weeks at the ICU at the hospital, Melwin finally showed remarkable improvement. His kidneys improved, and he was finally shifted to a ward. He was soon discharged after testing negative.

A grateful Melwin, who was saved from the jaws of death due to timely medical intervention, now swears by the importance of good health and has lost a considerable amount of weight.

Glad for the gift of life, he now follows a strict diet and also goes for short walks in order to stay fit.

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