Senior Consultant in Infectious Diseases at the Dr. Victor Babeş Clinical Hospital for Infectious and Tropical Diseases
Associate Professor at the “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest
“A doctor should have the wisdom of a snake and the heart of a lion.” (Avicenna)
During the COVID-19 pandemic, medical staff were among the first to be thrust into the situation of beholding such a gravely contagious and unpredictable disease.This testimonial essay presents events that unfolded during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, as experienced by one of its front-line physicians. The testimony combines narrative and subjective descriptions of the experiences and feelings of the author and of the hospitalized patients in her department, as well as aspects of the doctor-patient relationship and various other elements that emotionally impacted medical staff during this turbulent period that influenced (and still influences) our daily existence.
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, front-line doctors, emotions, feelings, professional challenges
I began writing this testimonial essay in May 2021, on a sunny spring afternoon, in the shade of a small apricot tree in a quiet spot near Bucharest. I contemplated the natural world around me, appearing each year so young and so carefree, even in the face of this explosive outbreak in the medical world and in our lives. Nature is so beautiful, so unaffected by our suffering, our pain, our
feelings, emotions and disappointments. It basks in the daylight, as the jasmine flowers scatter their scent and the peonies blossom amongst the white irises. This is how any beautiful story would start, though not one about the year of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
As a medical doctor, having worked for thirty years in the field of infectious diseases, mainly among patients with HIV/AIDS, I will try to describe my experiences of being one of the “front-line doctors” in the fight against COVID-19.
Considering the array of emotions involved, this testimony might seem to carry a subjective load, but it’s up to the reader to see through the lines…
One year later within the pandemic it seems that my words are scarce, too. I search for them but I can no longer easily find them. They have become lost in the whirlwind of the past year, a year that is less something that I lived through, and more something that lived through me. I could have taken a vow of silence, but I feel the time has come to speak up about the events of the past year, a year of professional and emotional turbulence that I could never truly capture in words.
Initial news of the virus: surprise, doubt, worry
In December 2019, a novel coronavirus, subsequently named SARS-CoV-2, began causing multiple illnesses and deaths in China’s Wuhan province. The news was worrisome, but because the outbreak was so far away, the Romanian experts were unconvinced that the virus would affect us. However, it was this little virus, initially considered less aggressive than the flu virus, which soon spread rapidly across the planet, triggering an unprecedented global crisis.
On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) deemed the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) an urgent international public health concern; on March 11, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was declared. As I write this testimonial, over 176 million COVID-19 infections and more than 3.8 million deaths have been reported worldwide.
On February 26, 2020, the first SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected in Romania, at the Matei Balş National Institute of Infectious Diseases. On March 9, the first patient was hospitalized at the Victor Babeş Clinical Hospital for Infectious and Tropical Diseases in Bucharest. During the first year of the pandemic, 29,605 patients were examined at Victor Babeş Hospital, which had become a front-line COVID-19 hospital. Of these patients, nearly 11,000 were hospitalized, with 1,886 admitted in the Infectious Diseases Department (Casa Doru), which I coordinate. This was the largest number of patients treated in any COVID-19 hospital in Romania during the pandemic.
From the start, there were many conspiracy theories, especially those regarding the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, thought to be a virus either created by or leaked from the Wuhan laboratory. There is no clear or definitive answer so far. The dilemma remains open. There were many debates: “Is COVID-19 more or less dangerous than the flu?” “Are the proposed preventative measures (mask- wearing, social distancing, lockdowns) too restrictive?!” “Could there be political interests on the part of the Global Occult, or financial interests on behalf of the large international pharmaceutical companies?” These questions were magnified in part by the mass media, as “fake news” became as contagious as the disease itself.
Some doctors supported such conspiracies, mainly those who did not treat patients and who had not spent even a single day in a COVID-19 ward, who continued to buy into the doubt and confusion sown by the media. The state of confused panic was latter amplified with the arrival of the vaccines, particularly the messenger RNA vaccines.
Another reason for frustration was the appearance of an uneducated but very raucous public minority, which rummaged through the dark corners of the Internet for irrelevant information circulating on social networks.
The wider population became more fearful, distrustful and at times hostile, believing that the leading forces in society had other interests that no longer represented them. Some felt abandoned, deprived of joy, of positive emotion, of any perspective, gradually losing confidence in humanity.
All aspects of our existence were affected, not just those on the medical front. Economic activity, social relations, cultural life all stopped; education was severely hindered. From the beginning of the pandemic, the population was forced to prioritize matters of health and precautionary measures against the SARS-CoV-2 infection, at the expense of social life and all other activities that generally contribute to a joyful existence. But the pandemic also made people pay more attention to non-material aspects of life, to spiritual and eternal human values.
Subsequently, fears about new strains of the virus (Alpha, Delta, Beta) emerged. With a higher risk of contagion, these new strains slightly reduced the benefits of vaccination and the efficacy of treatment with monoclonal antibodies.
The long-term effects of this pandemic are not yet fully known, and the socio- economic consequences are impossible to predict.
Preliminary reactions: fear and uncertainty
Beginning in February 2020, the infectious disease hospitals prepared for the fight against the virus, about which we had so little medical knowledge. As infectious disease experts, we knew how dangerous such viruses could be and we took this imminent confrontation very seriously.
I initially thought that my twenty-five years of professional experience caring for HIV/AIDS patients would give me the training I would need for any difficult situation. Very quickly I would find out that this was not the case!
Within a few weeks, infectious disease hospitals were transformed into COVID-19 front-line hospitals, with most infectious disease physicians having only patients with SARS-CoV-2 to care for. Each head physician had to organize epidemiological circuits as quickly as possible, and train staff in the use of protective equipment, since incorrectly used protective equipment can become a risk factor for infection transmission.
The first therapeutic protocols were developed in our hospital, using all the information we could obtain from studies published in China and from our medical colleagues in Italy, who were facing an extremely high number of cases. Although I had learned how serious this disease could be, especially for the elderly and for those with comorbidities and other risk factors, at that time we still did not understand the danger this virus could pose long-term. We later found out that it can influence our body and mind, long after the acute period of the disease passes, in complex manifestations that are currently described as “long-COVID” syndrome. We had to learn quickly how to act as effectively as possible in a pandemic. We formed teams of doctors to provide continuous medical care. The atmosphere in the hospital became quite heavy, although we all tried not to be overwhelmed by our fears, doubts and uncertainties, and to maintain an emotional equilibrium.
Our former patients, some with severe chronic conditions, no longer had access to the hospital. The virology and bacteriology laboratories were repurposed for the PCR tests used in detecting the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Much has been written about the negative impacts of this pandemic on the medical system and on our social and economic environments. But what psychological impacts did the COVID-19 pandemic have on the medical staff? When the first cases appeared in our hospital, we all felt the fear of the unknown. It was the fear of a potentially fatal viral disease, which also involved the risk of transmission to family members. I experienced a sense of vulnerability in the face of this disease, which I had not felt ever before.
Helplessness and frustration
Over the course of the year, the disease gradually hit us in waves. Not only patients but a large portion of the medical staff in the hospital began to get ill (in the early months, over 100 employees were infected).
A the beginning, we were dealing with a new disease, with many unknowns and uncertainties, and no effective antiviral treatment. We initially used drugs that appeared to have ameliorating effects, which were generally taken from the therapeutic arsenal used for other conditions, primarily rheumatological and antiretroviral therapies for patients with HIV infection. Over time, some of these drugs proved to be useless or to have negative side effects.
We tried to understand this disease and its bizarre symptoms. With each international clinical trial, the therapeutic protocols changed quite rapidly. This avalanche of information provoked confusion and uncertainty. Scientific research about SARS-CoV-2 infections accelerated, often at the expense of quality, with some studies withdrawn shortly after publication. But in the middle of a pandemic, you cannot operate with the same scientific standards as you do in times of “peace”. All doctors know they must never harm a patient, but when you are treating a disease that you know so little about, this is easier said than done. From the beginning of the pandemic, we all experienced frustration. For epidemiological reasons, people with asymptomatic or minor symptoms had to remain hospitalized, sometimes for extended periods, until they had a negative PCR test. Gradually, we learned from experience and began to “get” the disease. There were difficult moments when the necessary treatments were unavailable, and we felt exposed. Everywhere the demand for medicine was high, and similar
deficits were likely felt in medical systems across the world.
As the months passed, our fears of infection began to fade. It was as if we had become oblivious to the protective equipment that weighed us down and in which our soul seemed to be sweating, too. The feelings of fear were replaced by feelings of helplessness and unknowingness about this disease. We were dealing with a virus with so many faces, sometimes asymptomatic or mild, and other times severe or critical, evolving to forms of pneumonia with acute respiratory failure, putting the patient’s life in danger.
Isolation and loneliness
For several months at the beginning of the pandemic, we had to live alone, isolated from our families, the vast majority of us in hotel rooms provided by the mayor’s office of Bucharest. This decision was made in order to protect our families and keep them away from the risk of infection.
And so we spent this part of our struggle against the pandemic far away from family and friends, alone with our fears and worries and feelings of being misunderstood. Even now I cannot say whether these measures proved to be beneficial, or if they just ended up accentuating our feelings of loneliness.
During those months I could not take care of my own family, I could not visit my old ailing mother, or see my son, who was at a crossroads in his life. My life existed between the hospital and my temporary home. After a while, I managed to bring medication and provisions to my mother, who was isolated and suffering, as were a lot of elderly people in this country. With much care and many precautionary measures, I left these packages at the door of her home. My mother would watch me from the window with tears in her eyes, constantly concerned for my well-being. I often could not bring myself to look back at her, as I didn’t want her to see how hard things were for me.
During those nights of loneliness, I worried that there wouldn’t be enough oxygen reserves on the ward, imagining those who were seriously ill and their loved ones at home. Sleep, when it came, was brief and tormented.
Strict quarantines and lockdowns limited our freedom of movement, with those on their own often falling into depression. Many friendships were re-evaluated during this period. Some people were afraid of us, sensing that we had become a kind of “danger” to those around us. Fortunately, there were also genuine friends and my wonderful team members, who supported me and helped me to prevail.
Angels and devils
During the first months of the pandemic, front-line doctors were praised and called heroes and “angels in white robes”. I felt then the genuine support of civil society, which contributed with material aid and donations of protective gear, medical equipment and food. I remember how, during the endless night shifts, we would receive packages of food labelled “for the heroes”. We were also supported by doctors from other departments (pneumology, internal medicine, dermatology etc.) who had been allocated to the infectious disease wards.
The feeling of helplessness was made more acute by the patients brought to our hospital in critical condition, needing to stay in the intensive care units. There were not enough beds in our intensive care units for the growing numbers of critical cases. The old hospitals did not have enough oxygen stations in their infectious disease wards, as they were unprepared for the dramatic impacts of this pandemic.
The infectious disease wards began to resemble intensive care units, with their monitors, infusion pumps, oxygen tanks and devices that ensured increased flows of oxygen. Patients and staff were exposed to major risks, considering the increased need for oxygen by those with severe forms of the disease. We had to respect new rules, ventilating the rooms every two hours each day, both in the scorching heat of summer and during the freezing days of winter.
We experienced despair and helplessness in the face of all the suffering, some of the most difficult moments I have encountered in my professional life as a doctor. Sometimes our patients had such a rapid deterioration of health, they needed to be immediately transferred to the intensive care units, which were often already full and had to turn people away. We had no respite from such critical moments, in this drama of life and death that unfolded before our eyes over the course of more than a year. We had to adapt and treat serious conditions associated with COVID-19, which sometimes went beyond our expertise (heart disease, hematology, kidney failure, diabetes, etc.). Those outside the hospital, close friends and even family members, did not always understand what we were facing inside the COVID-19 wards. There were times when I thought that only those who had survived the disease were able to fully understand it.
Patients were isolated in the hospital, alone with their illness, without the support of family or friends. Sometimes our interactions with the patients’ families were difficult. They often called us to try and make connections, they were scared and distrustful, especially because they could not visit their partners, parents or children. We often blamed ourselves for not having enough time to properly communicate with the patients’ relatives, due to our excessive responsibilities.
We tried to offer comfort and relief to our patients in critical condition, isolated from their families and loved ones. Not infrequently did we have to console grieving families. We were also forced to look after our hospital colleagues, close relatives and friends, and the emotional pressure was immense.
When the pandemic was at its peak, the doctor-patient relationship began to take on other meanings. Fear and anxiety lay in the eyes of every patient, particularly those who could not breathe without oxygen tanks, and death seemed to be permanently hanging overhead.
There was the terrible fear that they would never see their family again and that so many aspects of their lives would remain incomplete.But I also experienced moments of the immense joy of healing, when the eyes of our former patients became wide windows through which I could see their path back home, the carefree games of their children, but also the tired and tormented relatives waiting for them.
The most beautiful words that the patients said to us during this period had to do with our humanity, our empathy, our understanding and our constant presence by their side. I kept asking myself why our patients ever would have expected anything different…
We were witnesses, nevertheless, to innumerable family tragedies. I saw people who lost life-partners, parents, close relatives and beloved friends to the pandemic. A terrible feeling of guilt hung over the room whenever a patient had also infected a family member who lost the battle with this disease. It was dramatic to see this frightening feeling in the patients’ eyes, particularly those who had infected their own parents.
It was overwhelming to look helplessly at the loneliness of those dying in the hospital. To leave without being able to say goodbye to your loved ones, naked and sealed up in a plastic bag—what could be sadder or more humiliating?
In addition to sadness, death also brought frustration to families, for not being able to organize funeral rites, or even to stand by their loved ones during their final journey.
I also felt sad about not being able to give the same care to my HIV-infected patients, who were having difficulty being monitored and housed in the hospitals. They continued to look for us and ask for our help but we no longer had the resources or the time to care for them.
We lived with the constant hope that the pandemic would end, and then we would despair at the beginning of a new wave, with increasingly serious cases in younger patients. Just when it seemed that things could not get any worse, an outbreak of fires in front-line hospitals took innocent lives, shattering the faith of
the entire society and having a major emotional impact on the patients and staff members. The Romanian health system, with its fragile foundations, could not help but expire under the weight of this pandemic.
Over time, harsh criticism of the doctors began to surface. From our status as heroes, we came to be considered criminals or people who wanted to establish a “medical dictatorship”. Some people condemned us because we were taking care of patients with a disease that was apparently “not that serious”, or because we were benefitting from “material advantages” or, with the arrival of the vaccines, because we had become a part of the Occult that manipulated humanity. Some doctors and specialists, even some former university colleagues, had such delusions, and perpetuated these conspiracy theories.
These accusations affected us all, and their burden will be felt for many years to come. As if the pandemic were not enough of an enemy, now we had to fight against public opinion, which was just as susceptible to mutations as this extremely dangerous virus.
Fatigue, stress, burnout
After a few months, I began to re-experience fatigue from the prolonged working hours under difficult conditions and the endless shifts. I remember weeks when I hardly left the hospital. In the summer months we melted inside the protective gear. At the end of the day we were exhausted and drained, our faces lined by the traces of the masks, and sweat dripping under our suits.
Once I got home, I only had one wish—to be left in peace! But even at home I continued to be contacted, the telephone ringing constantly and everyone asking for medical assistance. There were no real moments of relaxation. Everyone wanted an answer and I had the feeling that my time was harrassed and no longer belonged to me. However, I tried to be as helpful as I could. During this period I was not in touch with what my family wanted, what my husband was thinking, what my mother and my son desired. Although I was extremely tired, sleep stayed away from me. Thousands of thoughts haunted my nights; each one of my patients passed before my eyes as I stewed over what else I could have done for them. It was a huge responsibility that burdened me and took over my nights. But the patients needed us and relied on us, and every day I had to summon the energy to follow through to the end.
I had the feeling that I was running in an endless race, one where the finish line continuously moved farther and farther away, a feeling which only accentuated my state of exhaustion.
Young doctors on the front lines
There were, nevertheless, glimpses of light in all this hell. The support, friendship and recognition from colleagues at the hospital gave us the feeling that we were not alone in our struggle, and gave us strength to resist and continue on. The teams of doctors showed solidarity and generosity. Residents quickly joined the shifts when needed, and medical students also volunteered.
For many young doctors at the beginning of their studies, this year has been one of accelerated personal growth and development, of self-knowledge and of pushing one’s own limits. These doctors, many of them very young, learned to be fearless and tireless; they discovered the pandemic and discovered themselves along with it. I learned that they can be gentle and empathic, wise, tolerant, supportive, altruistic, and last but not least, professional. They always knew when to put their hand on the shoulder of a frightened, lonely and tormented patient, to carry heavy oxygen tanks up the stairs for those who could no longer breathe, to accompany patients in wheelchairs through the hospital halls to the radiology services and to watch over those who were suffering, multiple nights in a row.
These “anonymous” people, unrecognized, unknown on television, wrestled with this virus and struggled to maintain the hope that what they were doing made some sense, and that success, somehow, could still be achieved. On the other hand, when I think of the experiences of the young doctors in the ward, I cannot ignore the fact that during this long period of isolation, of sustained effort and endless shifts, they no longer had time for normal social lives, which could have given them the chance to build a stable relationship. Time for young doctors passes so quickly, as it is divided between so many shifts and exams. The pandemic forced them to mature rapidly, to become wiser and more responsible. But the cost that each of them had to pay in their personal lives is only known to them.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on medical education. The students could no longer engage in practical training at the patient’s bedside, which is essential to their medical education, a situation that will no doubt be very difficult to make up for later on.
Another source of light during this troubled period were the patients’ messages of appreciation, which gave more significance to our work and made us temporarily leave behind our fears and our fatigue.
Deception manifested at all levels of society. Some persons, with no medical training and who had never even entered a COVID-19 ward, presented themselves as if they were in the front lines, giving interviews on all the television channels. People lacking in professionalism and medical competence, who stood on the sidelines and issued scientifically unfounded ideas and opinions—false healers— were featured in the media.
Hollow celebrities with no medical or scientific training became overnight television stars, and some even received awards for their “distinguished efforts” in the fight against the pandemic. Some political extremists exploited the pandemic to increase their popularity and pander to the uneducated crowds for political gain.
How to regain ourselves after the first year of the pandemic?
Crises are said to reveal a person’s true character. I think the pandemic has shown each of us in our true colors. Unfortunately, there was much envy, opportunism, careerism and cynicism, but there were also healing examples of love, friendship, solidarity, generosity and a spirit of sacrifice.
Medical staff continued to provide care to patients with COVID-19, despite their exhaustion, their fears about the disease’s transmission, the hospital shortages and the tragedies they had to deal with on an emotional level. During this period, my hospital treated the greatest number of patients with COVID-19 of any health unit in this country. The fact that we managed to contribute in this way to the fight against the virus is what enables us to continue our work with passion and with dignity. Emotionally and physically, the pandemic was a prolonged traumatic experience, but perhaps it also had a purifying effect on people, forcing them to reconsider their priorities and values in life.
In the end, I can only hope that the good feelings that united us will remain in our memories, and that we will gradually leave behind the other feelings. We have chosen to become gentler, more tolerant and more forgiving of our fellow human beings, because even though we appear to be nearing the end of this crisis, we do not yet know what our “new normal” lives will look like
Some thoughts from my collaborators
“For me, the past year truly was an emotional roller coaster. While I can’t say that there weren’t any positive emotions—medical successes, satisfactions, family reunions—unfortunately there were negative ones as well, and these were the ones that carried the most weight and did the most damage, especially fear and helplessness.” (Tudor, 31, resident doctor)
“The pandemic was a carousel of feelings, we went from fear to confidence, from courage to frustration, from sadness to laughter. It was a difficult time, with much work and fatigue, but just when we felt we couldn’t go on any longer, we did and moved on. We stepped into the unknown, we fought a hearty enemy, but we formed a team and together we managed to survive. t was a difficult and tiring year, with moments of injustice and fear, but we learned the meaning of friendship, trust, gratitude and sincere joy!” (Miruna, 28, resident doctor)
“The COVID-19 pandemic was a real challenge for me. A year ago, I would have probably said that it was one of the worst things to happen in my life. Now I can say that I have found beauty in the darkness. It wasn’t easy, but it gave me the opportunity to see life from a different perspective. I was surprised to get to know myself better and to see another side of myself, even if I thought I was already old enough to know everything. In the end, I have to admit that despite the sacrifices made due to all the challenges I had to face last year… I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I am very thankful for my new perspective on life!” (Irina, 33, infectious diseases specialist)
“The truth is that almost no-one judged us objectively, for what we were really doing for all of our patients. We tried everything in our power to resolve each case, but the end result was all that mattered. The same people who considered us heroes (when it suited them) blamed us even more if they had any medical problems… But in fact, we are just ordinary people, with good days and bad days, with joys and misfortunes, with different professional abilities and limitations, trying to do what we can with the scarce resources available… Everybody judges you based on their own immediate interests…” (Ionuț, 43, senior consultant in infectious diseases)
“I wouldn’t have believed that I would feel like a stranger to my family and friends.
I wouldn’t have believed that I would feel I was living on another planet, and that my experiences would be so extraordinary and so horrible.
I wouldn’t have believed that my colleagues and I would all become a single person.” (Cristiana, 29, infectious diseases specialist)
“I saw the life draining from people, I lost my first patient, and I saw the fear and exhaustion in everyone’s eyes, patients and colleagues alike. There was a huge fear, paralyzing us from the inside, but still giving us the strength to go on.
We also saved many lives. People whose parents, grandparents and children were waiting for them at home. I felt the joy of looking into the eyes of a patient preparing to go back home. I felt the elation of seeing a patient recover after hovering between life and death in the intensive care unit. Such moments gave us the strength to keep going and to support one another. We arrived here together, much stronger and more determined to win this fight.” (Diana, 27, resident doctor)
“On professional, social and personal levels, the COVID-19 pandemic was and remains to me an unprecedented challenge, beyond any acceptable stretch of the imagination. The most difficult of all pandemic matters to manage was the “infodemic”, which called for constant efforts, with several critically overwhelming situations over time.” (Grațiela, 56, virologist)
“It is difficult to eloquently put into words the toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on all of us. As a first-year medical resident just beginning to get acquainted with the medical field, the reality of this new challenge felt incredibly overwhelming, to say the least. If there is one thing I remember most vividly about the beginning, it was the fear of the unknown, the dread of going into completely uncharted territory, of having to fight a disease that was still not fully understood. It felt like there was no time to gather myself and take control over my emotions as I was thrown directly into the eye of the storm.” (Andrada, 26, resident doctor)
“The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we all live. Our relationships, our freedom and our daily habits were all put under strain, forcing us to reshape the way we viewed and organized the world around us. As doctors in a front-line COVID-19 hospital, we were among the first to face this new reality. In the beginning, I remember feeling shocked and scared, and I can still hear the hoarse voice of one of my colleagues who compared this pandemic to a frightening and dystopian horror movie. Nevertheless, we all put our fears aside, knowing that our help was needed.
Today, when I look back at what we experienced, I no longer feel scared or tired. I am grateful for all the difficult moments that taught me resilience, humility, and—most importantly—that I am part of a medical team that is goodhearted, dedicated and willing to make sacrifices for others.” (Sorina, 33, resident doctor)
„I wish to add that everything that has been described here is like a war diary, speaking from the perspective of a doctor and a former patient. I admire all my colleagues who have done everything for their patients. I admire my sister whose patient I was, because she is a doctor who goes the distance. I am impressed by the pace of her steps, like a pendulum measuring each instant, as she climbs exhausted up the stairs to attend to her patients. In my own medical practice, I have lost patients while performing CPR, so I always wondered what death was and only found partial answers. I am convinced that science will be able to give us an answer. Instead of a conclusion, I would like to say: when death comes slowly and you don’t even know it’s watching, be strong and don’t waste a second.” (Sorin, 58, cardiologist)
I will now include some final written thoughts conveyed by our patients, some of whom experienced critical forms of the disease:
“Countless thanks and enormous gratitude for giving me the chance to return to my family.” (R.A., 52)
“Thank you for your professionalism, the passion for your beautiful work and the grace of making people better.” (Family B.)
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me a chance to continue what I set out to do in this life.” (Gratefully, M.B.)
“Thank you for your attention during my hospitalization. I am deeply grateful to you.” (M.N., patient from room 24)
“Dear doctor, On November 25, 2020, I was hospitalized at Victor Babeș Hospital and I felt suspended between heaven and earth, without perspective and without hope. On December 7, 2020, I was considered recovered, discharged and sent back to my family and society. During my hospitalization I felt the care, warmth and devotion from you and the other doctors under your coordination. Thank you, I humbly express my deepest gratitude. You will remain a major milestone on the path of my life. ” (E.I., 85)
“I wish to thank the team that saved my life. In short: I had the aggressive form of COVID-19 that required oxygen, and I was saved by angels. I woke up in a hospital bed, at Victor Babeș Hospital, Casa Doru pavilion. There I was treated by human beings. Beyond their roles as nurses, nurses, doctors, the whole team was made up of human beings. They looked at you, talked to you, came to you without you having to call them, including at night; they checked on you while you were sleeping, constantly monitored you, and explained every pill, injection and infusion. Thank you, beautiful people! The team coordinated by Dr. C.O. behaves with great respect, great care, keeps your spirit high and helps overcome this disease that has frightened so many. I have no words to thank them?! Words pale in comparison to what these angels are doing, but I felt the need to express that there is a place in Romania where patients are respected and supported in their recovery. I bow down to this wonderful team. I respect them and I pray to God to take care of each one and keep them in good health.” (M.C., patient)
“God brought you into my life. You saved a life.” (S.Z., 64)