It Can Happen to Anyone

Khalid Eldali and his wife, Asmaa, during his recovery at QCH.

At 29 years old, Khalid Eldali almost died from COVID-19.

“His (Khalid’s) doctor called me one night, telling me to come in and spend some time with my husband – because they didn’t think he’d make it through the night,” says Asmaa Addi, his wife. She spent the entire night holding his hand by his side, doing something no wife ever wants to do: say goodbye to her husband.

Back in October, Asmaa and Khalid never thought they’d be facing this – they’d spent the entire pandemic being as safe as possible: masking, distancing, washing their hands, and staying within their own household.

“My husband really wasn’t feeling well,” begins Asmaa Addi, “He couldn’t breathe. When I suggested he call an ambulance to go to the hospital and he said yes, I knew right then that he wasn’t okay.”

A few days before, after a visit to the COVID-19 Care and Testing Centre on Moodie, Khalid Eldali tested positive for COVID-19.

That ambulance call resulted in Khalid being brought into our QCH Intensive Care Unit (ICU). “He was put on a ventilator almost immediately and placed on life supportive measures,” says Dr. Akshai Iyengar, Chief of ICU. His kidneys, liver and lungs were in such bad shape, the care team did everything they could to keep him alive. “There were many days when there was a lot of uncertainty,” Dr. Iyengar added.

 “I don’t remember much. I remember being brought into the ambulance, then nothing. Until I woke up and saw Asmaa,” says Khalid.

Khalid was in the QCH ICU for over two months. For most of his stay, the ICU team wasn’t sure if he would make it. That’s when Asmaa got the call.

But the next day, something happened, explained Asmaa. “He squeezed my hands, and he opened his eyes. I will never forget that moment. Ever.”

The ICU team calls Khalid their Christmas miracle. After a month on a ventilator, dialysis, a tracheotomy, and many days of ups and downs, Khalid thankfully got better.

“The team here is amazing,” says Khalid. “I know every single one of them by name – and I should; they all saved my life. I cannot thank them enough.”

For Khalid, the hardest thing about his experience has been not being able to see his six month old daughter for over two months. “The first thing I’m going to do when I get home is hug my daughter for as long as possible.”

Khalid, Asmaa, and their six month old daughter.

COVID-19 is very real for Khalid and Asmaa. They’re urging everyone to be as cautious as possible.

“COVID isn’t a joke – it’s real, and it can happen to anyone. I got it at 29 and almost died from it. How do older people deal with it, if I got that sick?” Khalid says. “Everyone should take it seriously.”

Khalid and Asmaa are so thankful for the team of nurses and doctors at QCH who helped save Khalid’s life.

Now more than ever our hospital needs you. Your thoughtful contributions enable us to treat our patients with the best care — during natural disasters, accidents, acute and long-term illnesses and now for the COVID-19 virus. Your support will ensure our healthcare teams continue to have the equipment and tools they need to care for you, your family, friends, neighbours and our entire community, should you need us.