Going to ‘Gate of Hell and Back’
Wan Chunhui, 44, said he was “terrified” at first but that going to the “gate of hell” and coming back to survive the virus had transformed his outlook on life.
“I think the biggest change for me is that my way of looking at things is different now,” said Wan, who spent 17 days at the makeshift Huoshenshan Hospital in the Chinese city of Wuhan, in central Hubei province, where the outbreak began.
“I feel really calm about everything, really calm… I went to the gate of hell and came back. I saw with my own eyes that others failed to recover and died, which has had a big impact on me.”
He had initially isolated himself to protect his family after getting a temperature, but, still feverish a couple of days later, he walked an hour to hospital.
Tests were not available but he was prescribed antibiotics and flu medication and asked to quarantine himself at home due to a hospital bed shortage.
“I was terrified at first,” he said. “But I went back home, switched to a positive mood, and braced myself for the situation. Anyway it’s pointless to panic,” Wan told AFP.
The 44-year-old investor and married father of a nine-year-old daughter already suffered from high blood pressure before the virus.
At home, he began recording his illness in an online diary, but a bad cough set in and he was admitted to hospital.
Hormone therapy helped lower his temperature, although he remained short of breath, but medical supplies were scarce, Wan said, and healthcare workers wore poor-quality protective suits and rubbish bags as shoe covers.
Wan was transferred to one of the two field hospitals built for virus sufferers in Wuhan, a well-supplied center, he said, where he was treated mostly with Western medicines.