TEL AVIV (VINnews) — 37-year-old Samir Agayev could hardly hide his feelings as he entered the special isolation unit for coronavirus patients at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov hospital. Agayev had come to part from his grandmother, Yevgenia Gavrielov O.B.M, a few days before she passed away after a six-week battle with the virus.
Agayev arrived due to a controversial decision by the hospital to allow family members to part from their terminally ill relatives while wearing full protective gear. “Every minute is important,” he said. “What shall I tell her? I don’t know. I want to ask her if she want’s to speak with any member of the family and to spend a few minutes with her, as much as is possible.” Agayev said that his grandmother had arrived at the hospital “without symptoms, without even fever, she didn’t have anything.”
Agayev tried to remain optimistic before meeting his grandmother, but he knew she didn’t have much time left. “There’s still hope,” he said, “even though I’m here for not such a good reason. She’s here a long time in the hospital and is totally emotionally exhausted. Maybe it isn’t just the virus.” Agayev, a resident of Rishon Letzion, was very close to his grandmother. “We speak every day, she cares about me and my family and I return her love. I love her, she’s like a mother to me.”
Despite the hermetically sealed protective gear, Agayev was still concerned about entering the isolation ward but he was determined to get to his grandmother’s room and see her. When we came in, she immediately recognized him and despite her frailness seemed happy to see him. “Does nothing help?” he asked her, holding her wrist, seemingly unconcerned. He held it for the entire duration of the meeting. She didn’t hear the question, he patiently repeated it and she said weakly: “my lungs aren’t functioning.” Afterwards he asked her if the doctors had spoken with her that day and before he left he told her: “Think about yourself now. Only about yourself. Everything will be fine, grandma.”
Agayev found it hard to part from his grandmother. As he left he turned around and looked at her longingly. He waved to her and she tried to wave back. “She understands everything, she feels everything,” he said.
Dr. Howard Oster, the director of the coronavirus ward, explained to Ynet that “I don’t want a patient to die alone. His family don’t want this. It’s very important to give this impression both for the patient and for his family. Sometimes they can’t communicate but they might hear or understand something. This is a tough disease and in the ward they are absolutely isolated.”