New Delhi: A 106-year-old man Mukhtar Ahmed, a resident of Central Delhi’s Nawabganj, who was 4 years old during the Spanish flu in 1918, was discharged from hospital after recovering from COVID-19.
The centenarian, admitted in Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital on April 14 after been infected with the novel coronavirus was discharged on May 1 and is back home.
Dressed in a white kurta-pyjama, Ahmed who sports a white beard a gentle grin recounted to ANI about his stay at the hospital. He said that initially he was in a lot of trouble and felt he would not be able to survive. However, things started looking up and he felt hopeful that he could overcome the infection.
“In the past, many diseases took the form of pandemic and wreaked havoc but, I never saw such a disease like a coronavirus. If a person adopts a good lifestyle, he can be healthy. The rest is all God’s will,” he said.
Ahmed, who according to his family is 106, said that in hospital he kept asking the ward boys whether or not he would make a recovery.
“Initially I felt that I will not go home alive from the hospital. The situation was that bad. The ward boys told me only God knew the answer to that.”
Ahmed said after contracting the disease, he could neither stand nor walk and had to resort to moving about on his knees in the hospital. He was then shifted to another ward where he said doctors took care of me.
“I was given healthy food. Through proper medication, I was able to stand and recovered from the virus,” added Ahmed.
Will power is the key
Doctors at the hospital, which is a designated COVID-19 facility have applauded the old man’s willpower, which they said enabled him to put up a strong fight and recover.
Dr BL Sherwal, Medical Director, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, said, “Whenever a patient recovers, it is a proud moment for us. However, in this case, due to the age of Ahmed, it is inspiring news for all of us.”
“Our doctors who were treating him had noticed his strong will to fight against the virus. It is the will that is important in the battle against coronavirus. Ahmed fought with the disease as bravely,” he added.
Ahmed contracted the infection from his son who has also now recovered.
Family not his own
A strange aspect of Ahmed’s life is that the family with whom he resides with is not his own.
Ahmed, who lost his entire family in an accident in a village in Maharashtra years ago and he had somehow made his way to Delhi.
Mohammad Saeed brought him home and since then Mukhtar Ahmed has been living for almost 13 years with Saeed’s family, who say they respect Ahmed ‘Abba’ like the eldest member of their family.
Saeed’s wife Majeeda said, “Afer Saeed contracted coronavirus and was hospitalised, the doctors asked all of us to get tested. Our test reports showed all of us COVID-19 positive and we were asked to quarantine at home and to contact them if something happened to ‘Abba’. The next day when Abba complained of sore throat we got him admitted in the hospital.”
Recovered in 17 days
“He came back after recovering from the virus in 17 days,” she added.
Majeeda said that her son Aabid had found ‘Abba’ begging near a hotel and brought him home after getting to know about his family.
Family vanished due to flood
“It is now 13 years that he has been staying with us. He told us that he had three sons and their wives and children in Maharashtra but due to a flood his entire family had vanished. He told us nobody survived in that village. He also got mentally disturbed and spent three years in a mental hospital and after recovering he somehow came to Delhi,” added Majeeda.
“Abba’ inspires us a lot”, said Tayyaba, who is like his granddaughter. “We had hope that our father will recover too and will be back soon and he came back after recovering,” she said.