Mumbai: Cancer patient recovers from COVID-19 after a month in hospital

Updated: 08 October, 2020 07:39 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

She is waiting to regain her strength before she can get the crucial cancer surgery.

Mahnaaz Lokhandwala was to undergo breast cancer surgery when she tested positive for COVID-19
Mahnaaz Lokhandwala was to undergo breast cancer surgery when she tested positive for COVID-19

A bandra resident who had to stall breast cancer surgery as she tested positive for COVID-19, has beaten the latter after over a month. Now she is waiting to get her strength back before going for the crucial surgery.

Mahnaaz Lokhandwala, 62, who is suffering from breast cancer, was all set to go in for the surgery when she found that her doctor had tested positive for COVID. Lokhandwala, who earlier headed the pre-school at Jamnabai Narsee School, was diagnosed with cancer in July. "I didn't go anywhere for four months in the lockdown and then I found about the cancer. The surgery to remove the tumour was scheduled for August 26 and had to be cancelled after the doctor tested positive for COVID," she said. Lokhandwala suspects that she had caught the infection from her doctor.

Tested positive

She tried to reschedule her surgery at another hospital and as per protocol, had to get the COVID test twice. Lokhandwala said that while she had tested negative in the first test, she tested positive in the second round 48 hours before the surgery.

"My son had arranged for an oxygen cylinder at home and we planned for home treatment. But I started experiencing breathing troubles and my oxygen saturation went down till 78 per cent," she said. While her family wasn't able to find a bed in hospitals close to Bandra, they found one at Bombay Hospital where she was admitted on August 28.

Soon after her admission, she developed pneumonia and had to be admitted in the COVID Intensive Care Unit. Dr Gautam Bhansali, consultant physician with Bombay Hospital said that there were several factors to be considered during the treatment. "The patient had breast cancer, asthma, hypertension, severe sleep apnea and weighs 172 kg. When she was brought to the hospital, we were able to increase her oxygen saturation through high-flow oxygen cannula. She was treated for COVID for 16 days and after she tested negative, she was shifted to a non-COVID ICU," said Dr Bhansali.

Since intubation was a challenge in her case and putting her on a ventilator was risky, Dr Bhansali said she was put on the bi-PAP machine for 10 days. She was discharged on Tuesday after spending 34 days in the hospital. While Lokhandwala was happy to be back home with her family including her 92-year-old mother, she is waiting to regain her strength before she can get the surgery. "I am thankful to all the doctors who treated me with a smile at all times and never made me realise how serious things were. I am still on oxygen and medications and will have to wait for a couple of months before I can go for the surgery," she said. She will start medication for cancer soon.

No. of days Lokhandawala was at the hospital

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First Published: 08 October, 2020 07:02 IST

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