"Nothing should happen to my baby," the COVID-19 positive pregnant woman who had conceived after ten years, said with anxiety. "I am not going to let anything happen to you and your baby," Dr. Yuvraj Jadeja said before beginning with his first surgery.
Before my first surgery on a COVID positive woman, I had already lost a 24-year-old, 8-month pregnant woman and her baby to COVID-19 due to the unavailability of an oxygen bed while she was commuting to my hospital from another city, says Dr. Yuvraj Jadeja. "That was the day I decided to do something on the ground, on social media and where ever possible," he says.
Dr. Jadeja is MD in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and medical director at Ikigai Fertility and Wellness Center based in Vadodara. He was working in a non-COVID hospital until February when he got to do the first COVID surgery, a cesarian delivery. "I could not sit back. During this time, pregnant women were not getting beds and places in labour. Especially, after losing a pregnant woman, I made up my mind to actively work in this direction," Dr. Yuvraj says.
After collaborating with a few hospitals in Vadodra, he dedicated his Instagram page to spread awareness regarding COVID-19 awareness. Dr. Jadega also got together with a few doctors to start a free helpline number for women who were suffering from COVID-19 and were pregnant or lactating. "We started getting calls and messages from moms, dads, and husbands. It hit me even harder on realising how much people were scared. We were helping not less than hundreds of people through the helpline and my page," Dr. Yuvraj adds.
At the same time, Dr. Jadeja was also creating videos for Instagram to spread awareness among people related to COVID-19. "I had continued doing this when that day came. I was going to do my first COVID surgery, a cesarian delivery," the 34-year-old Dr. says.
The unforgettable story
Even after doing thousands of surgeries before, Dr. Jadeja says, it felt like a first of its kind. "I was scared and anxious. I was continuously thinking what if I get the virus and pass it on to mom and dad when I go back home. I was thinking what if my brother and sister in law, who were trying to get pregnant, get infected because of me."
He continues, "I was guessing if I made a correct decision or not. It had become hard to breathe in the PPE kit and that double mask. I felt that I wanted to pee. Was it my nervousness or the mask, I will never know. But the moment the patient, the pregnant woman's eyes hit me, under her mask and in all the chaos, I got some strength. She had conceived after ten years. I could see that her eyes were saying the same thing. She was scared, anxious and worried for her baby but her eyes also had trust in me, and the team that we will take care of her and her baby."
Dr. Yuvraj says, "She thanked me that I had agreed to operate on her after she was denied at a few places and her last words before I started was, "Sir, nothing should happen to my baby." I said, "I am not going to let anything happen to you and your baby". I could see that sigh of relief in her face, a faint smile that she dawned for the first time after she had turned COVID positive."
After this exchange with the patient, Dr. Yuvraj started with the surgery. "The world stood still for me. There was no COVID in the world, just me, my fellow doctors, anesthetists, my assisting staff, a mother, and her baby. I delivered the baby who cried or roared, probably, to let her mother know all was fine. The patient and I exchanged a look. I congratulated her and I could see her eyes wet, her happy tears rolling down.
I snapped out of that moment and got back to surgery and finished it successfully," Dr. Yuvraj says.
"I panicked as I got back to the world again. So, I started checking if my mask was in place. I also realised that I had forgotten to wear headgear or glasses but the surgery went well and I turned my thought to that. All was okay," he says.
It was a moment of victory and pride for the doctor and his team which they wanted to capture so that the memory could last forever. "We took a picture there but as I went home, I locked myself in the room and did not allow anyone to enter for a few days," Dr. Jadeja says while adding that the mother and the baby have recovered and safe now.
Helping hands poured in
Instagram recently reached out to the doctor for assisting in creating videos. "Almost 15 days back, the team approached me and asked me to send the rough draft of the video so that they can help me with finalising it," Dr. Jadeja adds. Apart from that, an NGO also got in touch with Dr. Jadeja and gifted him a microphone for making videos with clear sound.
"COVID-19 has given the world a lot of stories, stories of loss, victory, grief, courage, charity and humanity. I don't know if the world will change for good or not, but I know, for sure, that doctors, hospitals and Operating Theaters will never be the same again. I am not the same," Dr. Yuvraj Jadeja says.
Check out his Instagram page here.