Michael Rojales, one of Monash Health’s former COVID-19 patients, spoke at our employee forum this week, where he shared his COVID-19 journey and expressed his gratitude to Monash Health.
After contacting COVID-19 early last year, Michael was admitted to Monash Health, where he was placed in an induced coma for 14 days.
“What happened to my family was a horrible experience, and we weren’t expecting it. Thank you to everyone at Monash Health for looking after our family and me. Part of my healing is attributed to the help that I received from Monash Health.”
Michael was joined at the employee forum by Dr Rupa Kanapathipillai, an infectious diseases physician who was one of the first people to care for Michael when he arrived at Monash Health
Michael and Dr Rupa Kanapathipillai, feature in the new ABC documentary ‘Cracking COVID’, where they shared their stories about the first year of the pandemic.
When asked about his experience, Michael said, “there was a lot of guilt because I knew that I had brought COVID-19 into the home. We were doing the right thing, we wore masks, and we isolated in different rooms, but my wife and mother-in-law got infected as well.”
Rupa reflected on her experience of treating the first COVID patient who presented to Monash Health saying that the situation was surreal. “I was about to roll onto Ward service, and in came this text message about this case coming to Monash Health.”
“It’s been a completely surreal reality the last 18 months. I think it is important to thank the people who have done such hard work over that time and are continuing to do so- this includes people inside and outside of healthcare. And to really listen to the stories of people like Michael who have borne the brunt of this virus.”
“Get yourself and your loved ones vaccinated as soon as possible if you haven’t done so already. We must improve vaccination coverage in this country to move us closer to an exit strategy.”
Michael’s message for the community is, “COVID is real and COVID is not the flu. You may not want the vaccination to protect yourself, but you need it to protect others. So protect yourselves and protect others by having the vaccination”.
Michael’s story was welcomed at the employee forum, with many commenting on the privilege of having Michael speak to us:
How special to have a recovered patient come to this forum! Thank you for coming along to tell us about your experience, Michael!
Michael, you’re an absolute inspiration! I’ve followed your story for a while. Well done to you and your family on your recovery. Upwards from here!
How gracious Michael is in the light of what has happened. So uplifting to see and hear from a recovered patient – brings tears but reminds value of what we do.