SAMSUN, Turkey

A health worker who was infected with the coronavirus while treating patients at Gazi Public Hospital in Samsun, Turkey said his biggest fear was not being able to see his newborn son.   

Ali Arslan, a father of two children, had been working day and night treating coronavirus patients in the hospital’s intensive care unit and contracted COVID-19 from an intubated patient. 

Suffering from a high fever, he went to the emergency department on May 17. After testing positive for the virus, he began receiving treatment. 

Arslan remained in the hospital for a while and was then sent home, where he self-quarantined from his pregnant wife for weeks. 

Arslan told Anadolu Agency his treatment started when he had a lung X-ray taken which exhibited a “frosted glass” appearance. 

“During my wife’s pregnancy, while working, I used to change my clothes three times a day before going to work at the hospital and before coming back home so as not to infect her,” he said. 

He said they even created a quarantine room at home and used separate bathrooms. 

“When I was in the hospital, I was thinking that I would get worse within a few days, be taken to the intensive unit and die there intubated. My wife and colleagues never left me alone…My biggest fear was not being able to see my soon-to-be-born baby. Thank Allah, my baby was born the day after I defeated the coronavirus,” said Arslan.  

He said it has been 17 days since his son was born, but he does not want to get too close to avoid infecting him. 

“We comply with preventative measures like isolation at home. After the coronavirus, I want to hug and kiss my newborn baby.”  

Arslan also donated immune plasma for treating other patients. 

He added that it would make him very happy if a patient in the ICU recovers because of his donation.

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