A shot of hope for a grieving nurse in Bengaluru

A 48-year-old nurse in Bengaluru, who lost her husband and father-in-law to Covid-19, took the vaccine on Tuesday in what was an emotional moment.

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Shiny Varghese, Nursing Head, Manipal Hospitals (Whitefield), was inoculated with Covishield. 

Speaking to DH, Varghese said that while she was grateful to modern medicine for churning out vaccines in under 10 months, her life would have been different had the shots come out earlier.

Varghese said she and her family contracted Covid-19 in early July, shortly after Unlock 2.0, which triggered a spurt in cases, prompting the government to introduce a one-week lockdown.

“My husband was the first to show symptoms of the disease. Within 24 hours, everyone in my home developed symptoms — including myself, my 20-year-old daughter and my 92-year-old father-in-law,” Varghese said.

“Covid-19 testing confirmed our worst fears. With their condition deteriorating rapidly, my husband and my father-in-law were placed in ICUs,” she added.

Then followed a long bout with the disease which ended with a devastating blow. “My husband had kidney problems and was a dialysis patient. He was immunocompromised and succumbed to the virus 20 days after being admitted into the ICU,” Varghese said.

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Her father-in-law, who suffered from diabetes, hypertension and thyroid problems, passed away on August 14, about 44 days later. “In just a few weeks, I had lost half of my immediate family. It was a blow,” Varghese said, adding that she still does not know who brought the disease home.

“It could have been any of us. My husband used to travel in cabs often, so it is possible that he was the first person infected. However, it could have been me as well. In addition, our neighbour was also Covid-19-postive, so he could have been another vector point,” she said.

When asked how she felt about being vaccinated, Varghese described feeling relief. “I hope the vaccinations will take us back to a world where we do not have to wear masks,” she said.

Her daughter also hopes to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

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