A police officer has lost his fight to Covid-19. Police Sergeant Lenancio Bol died on Tuesday night after being treated for COVID-19. Sergeant Bol is one of the latest victims of SARS-COV-2. He was admitted at the KHMH COVID-19 Unit since last week and yesterday, we saw him being treated after experiencing difficulty breathing. Senior Reporter Hipolito Novelo reports.
41-year old Lenancio Bol was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week. The police Sergeant #301- of squad 73 was then admitted to the COVID-19 Unit at the KHMH where up to Tuesday was experiencing difficulty breathing. He died on Tuesday night and his death
Benito Bol, Brother of Deceased: “It was a shocking thing. We had this belief that he would have made it through. He was a strong guy and there was a decision that was made by the family to move him to Belize Medical Associates from KHMH and unfortunately he didn’t make it. When I was informed they said he passed away at about 9pm last night. They said that it was a heart attack that he passed away from but it’s all related to COVID19 because when I spoke to my brother, when I messaged him, he said that he had a pneumonia so that was what he was battling at KHMH. He had been at KHMH I think for about a week or so more or less.”
Reporter: Do you know if he had received his vaccination ?
Benito Bol, Brother of Deceased: “I believe, well I had heard he had gotten one. I’m not sure if he was fully vaccinated at that point. I can’t really answer that but I can recall them saying that he had gotten his first shot.”
Reporter: He passed away not in the presence of family and friends.
Benito Bol, Brother of Deceased: “Not in anybody’s presence. It was sad thing. We only saw videos of him being moved from KHMH to BMA and it was sad to see my brother on a stretcher like that but it is what it is you know.”
And one of the most devastating facts that come with COVID deaths, is that the victims die alone- in the sense that there is no family or friends around. But the nurses and doctors at the KHMH COVID Unit offer comfort the best way they can.
Casilda Bowman, Manager, COVID-19 Unit: “I would Facetime the family so that they can see them. So even though they’re not able to respond I have families who would pray with them, who would give some sort of encouragement through the Facetime and we let them listen to it. We allow the families to talk as long as they want to and that is just one form of comfort that we give them.”
Going inside the COVID-19 Unit gave us an opportunity to see firsthand the challenges that nurses and doctors face every day- challenges that are becoming complex and greater especially since the number of cases and deaths continues to rise.
Casilda Bowman, Manager, COVID-19 Unit: “It overwhelms the health institution, it overwhelms the staff itself physically, psychologically, emotionally. Everyone is impacted by this increase in numbers, in crease in deaths, increase of patients that are coming into the unit.”
And those working in the unit are receiving the brunt of it- everyday these nurses and doctors put their lives at risk. For these doctors and nurses a little motivation goes a long away but receiving counselling goes further.
Casilda Bowman, Manager, COVID-19 Unit: “It’s really hard. You could imagine when like last weekend we had two deaths, when staff is texting saying that they’re done, they’re tired, they’re tired of COVID you know that’s hard to keep them motivated and I try as much as possible to encourage them but encourage them can only do so much because when you’re mentally fatigued, you’re physically fatigued because bear in mind these nurses it’s not an easy job that they’re doing. They’re spending eight, ten hours in a PPE not eating, not using the bathroom, not drinking water, things that are necessary for a healthy person. So it’s hard to motivate them but one of the little perks that we try for example I told the CEO listen if we’re working so hard the least we can do is get better food.”
Timothy Seguro, Acting CEO, KHMH: “We’ve had donations of special food for them of which I’m sure they appreciate. If we can get more donors to do that then it would be well appreciated by the staff and give them a bit of moral boost. We’re also organizing counseling sessions for them. It’s expensive so we had asked prior if there’s any persons out there who wish to volunteer their time if they can assist us with that professionalism then we would also appreciate that.
And among all the deaths, the bad news, the tears, the long hours, the exhaustion and frustrations- there is a silver lining to this very dark cloud, a silver lining made up of all the lives that have been saved.
Casilda Bowman, Manager, COVID-19 Unit: “Just recently when some of my staff were saying that you know they’re tapped out I say guys remember the hundreds, because we have sent home hundreds, I wish that the people who actually left are able to share their story and tell them how bad it was but they left and they’re living and they’re testimony that people actually make it through this. But that’s a little bit of hope that I try to let them remember like yes this person died and we tried our best but guess what there a hundred