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Heroes For Better

COVID-19 Survivor Returns to Thank Care Team

A Grateful Gesture

Mehwish Qasim, PhD, has her doctorate in health services. She’s a healthy mom with two young children, ages 2 and 4. Yet in March 2020, despite her good health, she got sick “hard and fast” with COVID-19.

Dr. Qasim came to Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in critical condition with COVID-19 symptoms and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The rest, she says, was a blur.

“I remember arriving at the Delnor Emergency Department and telling the nurses to help me because I have two young kids at home,” says Dr. Qasim. “I’m just grateful with all the scary things swirling around in the news about coronavirus that I am a lucky survivor.”

Dr. Qasim spent seven days on a ventilator at Delnor Hospital before being transferred to the ICU at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. After another six days there on the ventilator, she turned a corner and regained the ability to breathe on her own.

Dr. Qasim began the road to recovery by returning to Delnor with her husband and two children to thank the care team that helped save her life. The family dropped off a meal for those working in the ICU and Emergency Department.

“As a nurse, there are some patients who stick with you, and my team and I will never forget Dr. Qasim’s bravery and strength during such a scary time,” says Northwestern Medicine Clinical Nurse Allie Spontak, RN. “It was so rewarding to see her return to our hospital happy and healthy along with her husband and two beautiful kids.”

Now, Dr. Qasim says she’s doing well, but remains cautious.

“I’m often nervous as I hear about how the virus is impacting survivors down the road, but I remain hopeful and am grateful for being here today thanks to my Northwestern Medicine team,” says Dr. Qasim.