Story By: Joseph Golder, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
This French doctor who has been suffering from the coronavirus for over three months has slammed the country’s handling of the crisis while telling her fellow COVID-19 sufferers “you are not alone”.
Marion Thelier is a naturopath at the Euronature naturopathy school in Paris and she told French public radio RFI about how at the end of February, one of her three children (12, 10, and 2 years old) returned ill from a school holiday trip and, soon after, she presented the first signs of the disease, a cough and fever.
She said: “After a few days, I realised that it was not like the flu, it was different. We felt it was something we have never had before. I started to isolate myself and rested, but the disease went straight to the lungs and all the symptoms started.”
Marion was hospitalised in March, but returned home due to overcrowding. She consulted with her GP and even bet on a cocktail like that used by controversial French doctor Didier Raoult, combining the antibiotic azithromycin with a natural antimalarial medicine.
She said: “The disease degenerated to a point that I came to fear for my life. I had a lot of trouble breathing, lung pain, muscle pain. A few days ago I still had tachycardia, I still feel pain in my kidneys… At first, I stayed in bed for four weeks because I couldn’t get up.
“Now I feel a little better, despite the constant shortness of breath and tiredness […]”
Marion says she is now mostly over the kidney and heart pain that came with burns and tachycardia but still has significant pulmonary pain and shortness of breath, dizziness and fatigue.
Speaking exclusively to Newsflash about the French government’s response to the crisis, Marion said: “It is difficult to position oneself on the management of a crisis after the fact without being biased. Would we have done better? Is it that simple?
“I nevertheless deplore the lack of materials, masks, gowns, and the lack of clear instructions given to healthcare workers.”
She said: “I also deplore the instructions and the inconsistent speeches […]. Speeches which had the effect I think of contributing to fear, mistrust, and loss of confidence.
“For me it has weakened people psychologically.
“I think that a massive screening would have been more useful, and that it is deplorable that the government could not provide sufficient medical supplies.”
Marion said she would like to tell medics “that even if this disease still has many mysteries, we must be humble before it and before the sick.
“To recognise that you do not have the answers and that those that you give are partial at best. Because today I find in the background of many testimonies this psychological aspect, or we minimise, annihilate the feelings of the sick. And that adds to the physical feeling like a double punishment.
“Except that today it also affects caregivers and they confide in me that they have never understood their patients as much […].”
But she added: “It cannot be productive to look for the culprits at all costs. Maybe it is time that everyone takes their share of responsibility […].”
To those who do not take coronavirus seriously, Marion said: “Thank you. Because it revolts me […]. However, I was one of the people who didn’t take it seriously at the start either, so I don’t hold it against them.”
Addressing other COVID-19 sufferers, Marion said: “You are not alone, there are many of us. Don’t stay isolated, more and more patient groups are getting organised and this brings a feeling of belonging and of understanding in the face doubt, your fears and the feeling of uncertainty about tomorrow. The strong feeling of really understanding the other because even those close to us do not perceive the extent of our feelings.”
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