A 50 YEAR-OLD Covid-19 survivor Daniel Mapoma says he was against vaccination until he got infected and ended up on oxygen for five weeks.

And Mapoma, who is hypertensive, says it took him a long time to recover but he is now an advocate of the Covid-19 vaccines.

Sharing his ordeal in an interview, Mapoma said being unable to breathe on his own was a terrible experience.

“To start with, it was a very horrible experience because you can imagine, you are used to breathing on your own and now you are confined to this situation, where you are new to the experience. It was very horrible. I can remember, I think I was on oxygen for about five weeks and that was really a horrible experience. Just the experience to say that there is this thing, you can’t breathe on your own, you have to be helped by the oxygen, it was just something else. Even just to be confined, you can’t move, you can’t do things on your own, you have to call somebody to come and help you, like if you want to use the bathroom you depend on others and again there is oxygen which was in on full level. I had oxygen in my nose and I also had oxygen through my mouth because my oxygen levels were really low, so from time to time they used to boost it, it was really a horrible experience,” he recalled.

“At the time I contracted Covid-19, I was not vaccinated. To be honest with you, I was very against the vaccination before I got the Covid itself, I was very against. Because I was very strong, I could joke around and say this Covid will not get me.”

He said after getting discharged, he ended up getting re-admitted for doctors to help him rebuild his lung capacity.

“After I was discharged there was some kind of excitement that I’m no longer depending on anything, I can breathe on my own but after I was discharged I started having difficulties in terms of breathing because my lungs were really damaged, very badly. I thank God for CFB, they really did a very good job because I started having problems again with breathing and I was really getting tired to a level that just getting out of my bed was really a challenge. I went back to CFB and when they checked my X-rays and checked the state of my lungs, they were really bad, so they advised me to be admitted again for 10 days in isolation just to help me work on my lungs, they really did a very good job”, he said.

“I stayed there again I was put back on oxygen I couldn’t just breath on my own but after about 10 days, I started breathing on my own. They could, you know what they do, is a situation where they would leave you to move out of oxygen and the doctors are surrounding you just to see and checking the oxygen levels and then after about one hour, they see if you are able to meet the oxygen levels within your body and they would put you back, just that process. And then that continued until I was weaned off oxygen. On the 8th day, I still remember, I had to take a bit of a walk outside and from there, they could tell that, really, I think I was doing very well.
I’m telling you, that was a long process. To be honest, I still remember that I was finally discharged from the hospital sometime in July but really to start getting better and doing things on my own, I think I was just about mid-September. I was discharged in July but to really get back to my level of doing things on my own, it took me to about mid-September.”

He said he got vaccinated after getting better.

“When I got better, all the doctors were telling me that ‘you know what, this [not being vaccinated] has really contributed [to the severity of your illness]’. But after healing, they had to give me a Covid vaccination, after about when I was discharged in July, it only took about two weeks when I went back for review and the doctors were saying you just have to be vaccinated, I just had to accept . Of course I had no idea what the vaccinations were and so I had to ask a lot of questions because for me, people were telling me to say they are just introducing the Covid virus to your body and I was like my body has been introduced already, because I have contracted Covid before. So the doctors had to explain to me to say no, we don’t know the allergen that you’ve developed within your body so you need to be vaccinated and finally, I had to accept and get vaccinated,” Mapoma said.

He said he did not experience any side effects after getting vaccinated and encouraged everyone to get the jab.

“To be honest with you, I would advise that, you know that Covid is real and we should not be against vaccinations. I’m here, because there has been a lot of talk about vaccinations with the public but here, I can tell you that I’m vaccinated and I’m doing things like I used to do. In fact, for me, there were no experiences like people talking or saying that no they got sick and what, for me it was okay, I didn’t experience anything like headache and what not, it was just a normal way of how I was feeling, so it was okay. I would advise that really, the vaccination is okay regardless of how people have labeled the vaccinations, I think it’s okay, I mean I still remember that we’ve been vaccinated of Polio, we were given, I think when we were young a lot, quite a number of vaccinations so even this vaccination is the same. I have had no issues after the vaccinations,” Mapoma said.

“My wife got sick first in the house but I didn’t get the Covid from my wife, I got from my daughter, when we were going to school, you know when you are in the same car. And little did I know that my daughter had Covid. Because when my wife got sick, she was out on duty but so she communicated to say ‘I’m not feeling too well, can you please prepare the room that I’m separated from because this is definitely Covid’, so when she arrived, we had already prepared her room, where she could cook for herself and do everything. So I had to move out of our bedroom. Little did I know that my daughter got Covid from school and because I’m hypertensive, my situation was worse than for my wife. My wife had no experience like I had, but for me it was really bad, my wife it just took her one week and she was okay, no problem in breathing, no oxygen, nothing, she was just treated like the way everybody else was being treated. Afterward, the doctors explained that I had this situation of BP so definitely, that had an impact but if I was vaccinated, the situation would have not been as worse as it was.”