Warded in 3 hospitals for Covid-19, family rallies together for support

Ms Sharina Mohd Sharif (top middle panel, with her son Tengku Raeesh Ammar Mohd Yusof) and her family during a video call. PHOTO: SHARINAH MOHD SHARIF

SINGAPORE - Ms Sharina Mohd Sharif's fears came true when she tested positive for Covid-19, along with four family members - her 3½-year-old son, her elderly parents and her youngest brother.

Ms Sharina, 47, and her son, Tengku Raeesh Ammar Mohd Yusof, have been warded in KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH).

Her father, Mr Mohammad Sharif Imam Khan Sahib, 75, is in Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), her mother, Madam Fatimah Bevi Abdul Kadeer, 68, is in Changi General Hospital (CGH), while her brother, Mr Mohd Faizal Khan Mohd Sharif, 45, is isolating in their Ubi Avenue 1 home with their domestic helper.

Madam Fatimah first reported feeling flu symptoms and shortness of breath on Sept 17. Three days later, her husband took a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test when he consulted a general practitioner after coming down with flu symptoms and a cough.

When his test result came back positive the next day, Ms Sharina performed antigen rapid tests (ART) at home on herself, Madam Fatimah, Mr Faizal and their domestic helper.

Her mother and brother tested positive, while Ms Sharina and the helper tested negative.

Ms Sharina, an adult education executive, developed a high fever and sore throat later that day and was given a PCR swab test when she went to a GP clinic.

When Ms Sharina took her son to KKH after he ran a high fever the next day (Sept 22), she received news that she had tested positive for Covid-19. Mother and child were then warded in an isolation room at KKH.

While waiting for the Ministry of Health (MOH) to send a team to pick her up, Madam Fatimah started having breathing difficulties as her condition deteriorated.

From her KKH isolation room, Ms Sharina called for an ambulance, which took her mother to CGH, where she was admitted.

The family had to call an ambulance again two days later when Mr Sharif started experiencing breathlessness and a high fever. He was taken to TTSH and warded.

Everyone in Ms Sharina's family, except for her mother and son, are fully vaccinated.

She told The Straits Times that she was faced with uncertainty in the days after her father tested positive for the coronavirus.

She added: "It was very scary after the ART came back positive and we were isolating while waiting for a reply from MOH.

"When the ambulance arrived to pick up my father, my siblings tried their best to have him taken to the same hospital as my mother, but the paramedics said it was not possible as the priority was medical care."

Madam Sharina Mohd Sharif and her son, Tengku Raheesh Ammar Mohd Yusof, in isolation at the KK Women's and Children's Hospital. PHOTO: SHARINAH MOHD SHARIF

While her loved ones' conditions have remained stable - with none of them is on a ventilator - Ms Sharina is worried for Mr Faizal, who had been diagnosed previously with a hole in his heart, and suffers from fainting spells.

"I feel kanchiong (Singlish for anxious) for my elderly parents and my brother," she said.

She said they are now waiting for another PCR swab test on the sixth day of their respective hospital stays, which will determine each one's recovery.

Her other siblings have rallied around the family, with her younger brother, Mr Omar Mohd Sharif, 46, helping to deliver food and other essential items to the various hospitals and her home, where Mr Faizal is isolating.

Her oldest sister, Ms Sarifa Mohd Sharif, 50, also helped to play a vital communication role by liaising between the two hospitals where their parents are warded and updating her siblings on their progress.

The family also makes it a point to get on a group video call every day at 11am so they can check in on each other and provide support.

Ms Sharina said: "They (the video calls) are my booster pill every day, and it's a relief to see that my parents and brother are well. We just want to fight this together so we can recover and see each other again."

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