IZMIR, Turkey

Contracting the novel coronavirus at the very first days of his life, Syrian baby has recovered from COVID-19 after treatment in Izmir, on the Aegean coast of Turkey.

Syrian baby Aziz was diagnosed with the disease just five days after opening his eyes to the world, and he was discharged from the hospital with a round of applause after nearly a month of fight.

Mustafa al-Mahmoud and Siham al-Tamar, parents of Aziz, got married five years ago in Aleppo province of Syria. Fleeing the internal conflict in his country, Mahmoud came to Izmir four years ago and started shoe-making to gain his life.

Mahmoud brought his spouse to Izmir last year. After Tamar had high fever around a month ago, Mahmoud took her to a hospital where she delivered a baby boy at 33rd week.

Baby Aziz was taken in intensive care unit for newborns as he had difficulty in breathing. He tested positive for COVID-19.

A tube was inserted into his stomach for medical treatment. He responded to the treatment and was delivered back to his family after testing negative for the disease after a month of treatment.

Defne Engur, newborn clinic administrator of the hospital, told Anadolu Agency that health workers in the intensive care unit gave a long fight to save baby Aziz.

Stating that they monitored the baby in a negative pressure isolation room for a month, she said: “As it was a premature baby, he could breathe with a ventilator. After he tested positive for COVID-19, we started to apply dual medication treatment.

“We took him off the ventilator after he responded positive to the treatment.”

– ‘Success of health army’

Engur said that it was an emotional time for all the intensive care unit staff when the mother met her baby for the first time.

“Now, the baby can comfortably be breastfed,” she said, adding that “there is a baby being discharged from hospital today, and there is a health army behind this success.”

“We are so happy and proud as the team,” Engur stated.

Mehmet Yekta Oncel, the clinic’s training supervisor, also said that they are proud to have treated baby Aziz successfully even though there is not much scientific rsource about the course of the disease in premature babies.

Mother Tamar said she took her baby in her arms for the first time and said: “Aziz is my first child. I was so upset to learn that he caught COVID-19, but my baby recovered thanks to the treatment the health workers applied on him.”

She thanked all the health workers for their devoted work.

Father Mahmoud also said he owes so much to Turkey, and added that his son’s life was saved by Turkish health workers.

“I thank the health workers so much. They never left us alone during this process,” he said, adding that he got so excited when he first took his child in his arms.

Most people who contract the virus and develop COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and fully recover within a series of weeks. But it is particularly deadly for those with pre-existing conditions including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and asthma.

In Turkey, a total of 38,809 patients have been discharged from hospitals after recovering from the virus, while the death toll stands at 2,992 as of Tuesday.

*Writing by Sena Guler

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