COVID-19 | Survivor Diary: Waiting and Distance

Photo of On June 15, François leaving Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital. Another stage begins.

On June 15, François leaves Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital. Another stage begins.

Infected by COVID-19 since March, François is in the Intensive Care Unit at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital (MRH). He and his wife, Geneviève Rioux, tell us about his incredible journey.

Suffering and waiting at a distance

Since his arrival on March 25, François, a COVID-19 patient, has been in Dr. Marquis’ department in the Intensive Care Unit at the HMR. He is isolated in what is called a hot zone and therefore sees no one except the nursing staff. To get news, Geneviève, his wife, has no other option than the phone.

I called the Intensive Care Unit three times a day. I was holding back, because I would have called much more often! Geneviève Rioux, François' wife

Most of the time, Geneviève talks with his nurse, sometimes with the doctor. Since he’s getting better, she can also see him through the service’s digital tablet.

As François starts to get better, the staff brings the tablet to him upon his request. This allows the couple to communicate. At first, he can only nod: Yes or no, but it’s already great.

Not being able to be with François for so long was the worst ordeal of my life. I was so afraid of losing him… I cried so much… I don’t know how I could have got through this period without my family and friends. Especially since I spent the first month alone in Gatineau. Geneviève Rioux

A great team at the HMR

Geneviève found the intensive care staff exceptional! She wants to say it over and over again! François, for his part, has considered the staff as his second family during all this time.

Without them, without the news they gave me, without their humanity, I would not have been able to get through this ordeal. I felt their involvement, their caring hearts. Geneviève Rioux

The importance of technology

On May 28th, on the occasion of their wedding anniversary, the team provided François with a bow tie and a jacket. They also use napkins folded in the shape of flowers to surprise Geneviève upon using the tablet.

Although this is not ideal, and will never replace physical presence, the tablet provided by the Intensive Care Unit allowed Geneviève and François to see each other, and later, to talk to each other.

Out of the Intensive Care Unit… at last

On June 1st, François leaves the Intensive Care Unit and the whole team makes him a hedge of honour. A very touching moment! He joins the Nephrology Department where he meets the team he has known well since his transplant! His COVID-19 tests are negative. Things are improving!

June 13th

François is taking another COVID test tomorrow. If it is negative, François will be allowed to leave the HMR.

June 15th

Good news. The test is negative. François is leaving the MRH for the Centre régional de réadaptation La Ressource in Gatineau. He arrives there on March 25.

Once at the Centre, he will be back in quarantine for 14 days. He will not be able to see Geneviève again until early July.

˃ Read COVID-19 I Survivor’s Diary: Tested Positive.

˃ Read COVID-19 I Survivor’s Diary: The Battle .

To be continued…

Without your support, the HMR and its teams would not have been ready to face this pandemic. Without your generosity, the Intensive Care Unit staff would not have had the equipment or access to the training required to adapt to the situation in a timely manner.

Your solidarity has made a difference in the past, it makes the difference today in the face of the pandemic, and it will make the difference again tomorrow.

Thank you for contributing to the Together for the HMR Fund!

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