Denis Baniqued, 34, and Mary Rose Quinto, 25 of Wollert in Melbourne’s north have been hospitalised during their battle against COVID-19.
Denis, who works as a nurse at a nursing home, is a diabetic and believes he caught the virus at work. One of Denis’ colleagues developed a mild fever one Saturday while at work. The staff member was sent home. From here, Denis believes he passed it on to his wife who is seven months pregnant.
It was after his shift on the Saturday that Denis began to feel body aches. After the aches disappeared the following day, he started feeling feverish. The couple decided to get tested on the Monday and received their results stating they were positive following day.
The couple live with Denis’ parents and brother who maintained their distance in the double-story house, and followed a strict household infection protocol which protected them from the virus. Denis’ parents and brother tested negative from the virus.
At the onset of symptoms, the infected couple immediately isolated upstairs, while the others stayed downstairs. The couple experienced ongoing symptoms including a fluctuating fever with joint and muscular pains, as well as a loss of their sense of taste. On the 10th day, Denis developed pneumonia including shortness of breath, which led to an ambulance being called.
The couple was taken to the Northern Hospital and confined. Mary Rose was warned by doctors that if her condition would not improve, she might need to deliver her baby, while Denis was required to have high flow oxygen for two and a half days, as he struggled to breathe. They were sent home after four days.
“They were told to continue recuperation at home because the hospital rooms have been reserved for sicker patients,” said Denis’ mother Lilian.
The family followed rigorous infection control procedures where they had to hand wash, hand sanitise every time they touch anything. They sprayed and disinfected all surfaces they touched, including the shared bathrooms. A chair was placed on the staircase and used as a drop off point to pass food to Denis and Mary Rose upstairs.
While in quarantine, they received daily calls and a text message from contact tracers to track their location.
After being cleared, Denis and Mary Rose’s doctor advised them to rest for two more weeks. “They are still weak and can hardly walk for more than 10 minutes,” stated Lilian.
Denis urges the public to not be complacent and to continue to take care. He continues to experience shortness of breath, and hopes people will understand that the after effects of the virus can continue to be debilitating.
While Denis and Mary Rose continue to recover at home, other family members are back at work after completing their 14 day quarantine period.
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