Just when his family thought he would have been home this week after being hospitalised for Covid-19 since last year, nurse Shazard Mohammed passed away on Monday.
Mohammed, 40, a beloved nurse at the St Ann’s Hospital for the last 15 years, contracted Covid-19 in October 2020.
He spent three weeks at the Couva Hospital where he eventually recovered from the virus.
However, instead of returning home, Mohammed was transferred directly to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC), Mt Hope, at the end of October after receiving a negative Covid-19 test.
This is according to his mother, Meera Mohammed, who spoke to the Express yesterday following her son’s cremation.
Mohammed said: “He just had a little cough, nothing else. No fever, no vomiting, no headache.
“He went to the Chaguanas Health Facility just to be sure and he found out he had Covid. He went in (to Couva Hospital) on October 8 and spent three weeks. They test him again and he was negative.”
She said her husband passed away in August 2020 just weeks before their only son Shazard was hospitalised.
When he was transferred to Mt Hope they thought it was because he was asthmatic and was hoping he would be released soon after.
However, he was told he had a lung infection and had to have surgery done.
“They took him straight to Mt Hope. They said he had a lung infection. He had surgery on November 18 and it was successful.
“He spent five weeks in ICU and then he stayed in HDU (High Dependency Unit). But last week they told us to get the mechanical bed with the double mattress because they were sending him home.
“So we bought the hospital bed last week Friday. He was coming along. Just to put things in place for when he comes, but he never came home,” she added.
She said Shazard was in good spirits in the last few weeks and she spoke to him often.
However, she was told he had trouble eating and swallowing due to the tract placed in his throat after surgery and that caused him to have complications.
She is now trying to come to terms with both losses.
She said her son “loved being a nurse. It was his life”.
Battle for life
Also mourning his death is the Trinidad and Tobago Registered Nurses Association (TTRNA) and staff at St Ann’s Hospital.
Speaking with the Express yesterday via phone, TTRNA’s president Idi Stuart said: “There are people who come into the profession having already been a nurse. Their persona, their attitude, everything about them. He was one of them. He had nursing at heart.
“Everything about him, how he interacted with patients and clinics were warm and empathetic. That is why it has really rocked the St Ann’s community.
“We would have been in contact with the staff at Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, we saw the battle that went on. He had numerous ups and down then something happened over the weekend. He passed away on Monday.”
He said he trained as a student nurse with Shazard from 2002 to 2005 before Shazard went on to St Ann’s Hospital in 2006.”
Stuart said there was also a Covid-19 outbreak at St Ann’s last year. However, he could not confirm whether or not Shazard contracted the virus at work as he worked on a different ward.
Shazard worked on Ward 27, the forensic ward, known to be a very “difficult ward”.
However, his mother said he loved working with the patients on Ward 27 as he was tough and never had any altercations with anyone.
TTRNA said they are now waiting to hear whether or not the Ministry of Health will categorise Shazard’s death as a Covid-related death.
Speaking with the Express yesterday, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said: “I cannot disclosure the cause of death of any individual. However, any loss of life to one of our valued nurses is regrettable and my thoughts and praises go out to the family.”
TTRNA said it’s now planning with Shazard’s family a suitable manner to acknowledge his life as a nurse.