This Actress, Volunteering As A Nurse At Mumbai Hospital Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Shares “Gut-Wrenching” Experience

Shikha Malhotra wrote a lengthy post about working as a nurse (courtesy officialhumansofbombay)

Highlights

  • “I never imagined I’d witness life and death so closely,” she wrote
  • Shikha Malhotra has starred in SRK’s ‘Fan’
  • “I had a nursing degree, but took up acting after it,” she added

New Delhi:

Shikha Malhotra, a trained nurse, and actress by profession, shared her heart-touching story of dealing with COVID-19 patients as a volunteer at a BMC-run hospital in Mumbai amid the coronavirus outbreak in a Humans Of Bombay post. Shikha Malhotra, who appeared in films such as Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan and recently released Hindi-Rajasthani period film Kaanchli Life In A Slough, in posts on her Instagram had earlier revealed she has a nursing degree from Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College. In her post for Humans Of Bombay, she opened up about her decision to volunteer as a nurse at Hinduhridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Care Municipal Hospital a day after the lockdown was imposed in India. “The day after lockdown was announced, I set out to find a hospital to volunteer in. I had a nursing degree, but took up acting after it. Still, when COVID-19 broke out, I’d never felt stronger about volunteering as a nurse. I finally found an isolation ward in Balasaheb hospital,” she began her post with these words.

“I began working as a nursing officer the next day. That meant ensuring patients took their medicines and ate on time and being in the ward all day. My first patient was a seven-month-old baby. When I saw him, playing in his crib, oblivious of what was going on, my heart melted. Since then, he’s been my biggest motivation to go to work. Luckily, he’s asymptomatic,” she added.

Shikha Malhotra talked about getting emotionally invested with patients at the hospital: “But on the flip side, since I joined, I’ve gotten emotionally attached to the patients.” However, her touching post also comes with the most “gut-wrenching” bit about dealing with COVID-19 patients: “I never imagined I’d witness life and death so closely. The most gut-wrenching part is that patients’ families don’t get to see them and some don’t even get to say goodbye. This is a hard time for all of us and the only thing we can do is not take our lives for granted. Take a moment everyday to be grateful for everything you have. Breathe, have hope and remind your family and friends that you love them. This too shall pass,” she wrote.

“The day after lockdown was announced, I set out to find a hospital to volunteer in. I had a nursing degree, but took up acting after it. Still, when COVID-19 broke out, I’d never felt stronger about volunteering as a nurse. I finally found an isolation ward in Balasaheb hospital. The head there asked me why I’d want to do this being an actor & spoke about salaries. I stopped her & said I didn’t want a salary. I just wanted to help. She was touched & hired me immediately. I began working as a nursing officer the next day. That meant ensuring patients took their medicines & ate on time & being in the ward all day. My first patient was a 7 month-old baby. When I saw him, playing in his crib, oblivious of what was going on, my heart melted. Since then, he’s been my biggest motivation to go to work. Luckily, he’s asymptomatic. His mom & nani tested positive too & are in the hospital. His mom’s unwell & isn’t able to care for him. So I’m constantly making sure he’s taken care of. Every morning, I first go to his room & play with him-he’s always smiling. The whole family is slowly getting better-his nani recently tested negative! But on the flip side, since I joined, I’ve gotten emotionally attached to the patients. I talk to them & they tell me that’s the highlight of their day. Recently, an older patient kept saying, ‘They’re waiting for me at home. I want to go home’. And I’d say, ‘Uncle if you don’t eat how will you go?’ We’d talk everyday. He was in pain, but he smiled through it. He reminded me of my dad. But one day, when I got to work, his bed was empty. One of the patients told me he’d passed away just moments ago. I looked out the window & saw the ambulance-if I could’ve just said goodbye to him. I called my dad & cried my heart out. I never imagined I’d witness life & death so closely. The most gut-wrenching part is that patients’ families don’t get to see them & some don’t even get to say goodbye. This is a hard time for all of us & the only thing we can do is not take our lives for granted. Take a moment everyday to be grateful for everything you have. Breathe, have hope & remind your family & friends that you love them. This too shall pass.”

A post shared by Humans of Bombay (@officialhumansofbombay) on

India has over 13,380 positive cases of the coronavirus with Maharashtra being the worst affected state. The country is in lockdown till May 3.

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