Wednesday, February 24, 2021
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One year of corona virus in the region: Lea was the first corona patient in the Netherlands

One year after her hospitalization, Brabant’s Lea Kant is radiant. And that while she has been certain of her contact with the corona virus. “I am still very tired, my memory has become very bad and my wrist is still paralyzed. I got that from lying on the ic.”

Watch the report on a year of corona in the video below.

She was in intensive care (ic) for four weeks, a period she knows nothing more about herself. “I remember that the week before I was admitted I was very short of breath. I did not feel well and the GP gave me a puffer and some antibiotics. On Friday, February 21, I felt really sick and I have the GP checked out. Then they wanted to take me in right away. ”

After a test it was hit

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Lea actually did not want that, because she already saw it happen that her dog and cat would end up in an animal hotel. “But I had to take the doctor seriously and stay in the hospital.” Lea soon becomes so sick that she is put to sleep: “That was better for my heart and lungs, then my body would rest.” She is transferred to Erasmus MC, where they shortly afterwards discover that she has the corona virus: “They tested me there and then it was hit. Then the ball started rolling.”

Not only for Lea and her husband, but also for the Beatrix hospital, which is the first hospital in the Netherlands to be confronted with the corona virus. “Before that it was still very quiet with us”, IC nurse from the Beatrix hospital Marianne de Jong remembers. “That was a very strange period; we received flowers and applause, while nothing was wrong with us yet.”

Text continues below the photo.

There was an uncanny feeling in the hospital. “We were very restless: it was coming, but we did not know when. When the first patient turned out to have the virus, we gained momentum. One after the other was admitted: we did not know what our We had never seen anything like this before. “

“We suddenly had syndromes that we had never seen before; people who suddenly collapse”, De Jong recalls. “Article link

The hardest part, however, was the families, that they were not allowed to be there. That they had to say goodbye with video calling and did not know whether their family member would still wake up.” Her voice breaks a little. “I found that the most difficult.”

After the discovery that a corona patient was in the Beatrix, without being isolated from the staff and other patients, the hospital is closed. Gorinchem will be the scene of press conferences, a lot of media attention and corona tests.

‘It was not allowed to come out’

“I remember that staff who were at home with complaints in that first week, received a flower from the management. You can’t imagine that now, can you?”, Says IC doctor Margijske van Roest. “Getting the coronavirus back then was even scarier than it is now: you just didn’t know what was going to happen.”

Article link

The first corona patient is the start of ‘a very hectic time’. “It was something we could not have imagined in advance. We had seen images from Italy, but the question remained whether that would really happen here. Well.” Article link

The fact that they had ‘hands’ the first corona patient in the region, they did not really think about that in Gorinchem at the time: “We did not get that, we mainly worked very hard,” says Van Roest.

In the meantime, it is also a madhouse in Nieuwendijk, under the smoke of Gorinchem. “They had told my husband I had corona, but he was absolutely not allowed to say anything,” says Lea. “It was not allowed to come out, because then it would be a riot.”

Lea Kant. Text continues below the photo.

When the news comes out through the Beatrix Hospital press conference, Lea’s husband is bombarded by journalists. “They all wanted to become friends on Facebook, to get in touch that way.” And while Lea is still being kept asleep, her steps from the past week are tracked. “They even looked through my calendar to see what I had done.”


That went a long way, Lea realizes when she regains consciousness. “I heard that they had approached supermarkets because I had been there. And that a cafeteria in the village was closed because I had been there, because the corona could be in the croquettes. That’s how bad it was then. And that happened. All because of me. I felt very guilty. And yes, of course I can’t do anything about the fact that I had the virus, I don’t know where I got it. But I will remain the first to know about it. .. “

Diary of Lea. Text continues below the photo.

Where she got that virus is still a mystery. “I have not been on vacation and had contact with few people because I have not lived in the village very long. Very special. Maybe my husband gets it from his job as a truck driver, but that’s guesswork; we will never find out.”

Thinking about how the virus ended up in the Netherlands was no time at all during the first corona wave. In the beginning, the hospitals were mostly uncomfortable: “What is coming our way, what should we do?”, IC doctor Margijske van Roest still remembers. “Now we think: we’ll see. We’ve already done it three times before, the next wave will also work.”

February 21, 2020 feels like a long time ago. “It certainly feels like a year, yes, although we are still a long way from”, says IC nurse Marianne de Jong. “In the beginning it really happened to us, but we did become a bit wiser that year.”

Say goodbye

“A lot has changed since then,” says Van Roest. “It has become a crazy world, just the way we now deal with people and patients, and the IC that is continuously scaled up. Very different from how we were normally used to work.” Van Roest does not think that ‘it normal’ will return. “I don’t think corona is going away. I think we have to live with what is now and prepare for new peaks or developments every time.”

But before that happens, Lea Kant is still radiant on the couch. Despite the consequences of the corona virus, which she still carries with her every day, she feels powerful. “I have a very positive attitude towards life.” She has had health problems since she was 23: “Then you learn to fight! But I also have a very sweet family and a family, which I really fought for.”

And no matter how much trouble she and her husband had from the corona virus and all its consequences, they fought through it. “What we have been through … it was worse for my husband than for me. He had to say goodbye to me, while it was not sure if I would wake up. If you can handle this, you can handle anything. And we together can handle anything, that has been shown. “

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