Coronavirus: Sickle Cell Warrior Survives COVID-19 Ordeal

Like the one recently reported for a Bahraini sickle cell warrior, it all started like one of those niggling SCD Crises …..

Kehinde Salami

Sociology graduate Kehinde Salami, Founder/Director/CEO of of the UK-based SCD advocacy, Sicklekan Sickle Cell Foundation, was admitted to hospital with symptoms resembling sickle cell crises.

Well. It was day day 3 I was unable to eat, sleep plus my clothes were drenched in sweat. I collapsed on the floor. Woke up in a puddle, pain all over. My energy depleting every breath I took. I thought I was going through total renal, and organ failure as a sickle cell patient there’s no coming back from that at all.

I knew right then I only had a few more breaths to take before I was dead.

So I lay down thinking what to do.


I Called 111 – a waste of time. I was thinking I’m about to die and this woman slowly accessing my priority to be taken seriously. I then hung up then called an ambulance.

An hour later still no ambulance. I kept on saying to myself, burning up. With my body on the brink just 5 mins just 5 mins hang in there but nothing came.

There I vomited about 8 times in a row, seems my lungs were flowing with water so I rang the ambulance again to say if I don’t get one now I’ll be dead in ten minutes.

They came 20 mins later, took me to hospital did my ops and were like according to these stats you should be dead.

It’s crazy how now I have to deal with knowing that I survived while many didn’t. I don’t know how to process it.

SICKLEKAN FOUNDATION

‘They didn’t know I had it (Coronavirus) first so they just focussed on treating me for my sickle cell pains, suspected chest crisis and pneumonia While taking bloods and taking the X-ray.

They then swabbed my mouth, then nose for Covid 19, all while giving me oral morphine, paracetamol, naproxen and oxycodone for my sickle cell pains to keep my temperature down.

When I was admitted my temperature was 40 degrees and my heart rate was 214. I was basically a dead man walking.

After that initial scare they resorted to doing my heart rate manually as they were in disbelief at what they were seeing.

After a day of the National Health Service (NHS) staff working tirelessly had me stabilised and I was confirmed to have Covid 19

I was then transferred to the Corona ward.

AT THE COVID-19 WARD

Once I was moved to the Corona ward with Other Corona patients (95% black African males but in their 50-60’s) my health improved rapidly.
Mainly due to them treating me on three fronts the Corona with paracetamol to keep my temp down, my lung infection by strong antibiotics and my sickle cell via my regular sickle cell meds.

They were amazed at how quick my body responded and are still in shock that I’m relatively fine considering my also having sickle cell disease. But kept consistent with their treatment.

They then did more blood tests, infection markers down and saw me listening to old school r and b and just laughed and said I’m able to go tomorrow but advised to self isolate for 7-10 days as I will still be contagious within this period.

After that non contagious and immune. But advised if I do get worse regular 111 helpline then hospital admission.

All in all, I had two days of treatment for everything to subside with these miracle workers from the NHS.

3 days later, I’m home watching Disney plus.

A Sicklekan Event in London

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