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Calcutta teacher braves cancer and Covid

Woman discharged from MR Bangur hospital on Friday after successfully recovering from both the diseases
MR Bangur Hospital, where the teacher was admitted

Jhinuk Mazumdar   |   Calcutta   |   Published 13.06.20, 09:43 PM

A schoolteacher was about to be operated for breast cancer when she was diagnosed with Covid-19.

She recovered from the virus, underwent surgery for her cancer a month later and returned home smiling from hospital on Friday.

A day later, her family spoke of her “steely determination”. Two diseases in a span of a few weeks left her weak but not battered, they said.

She was not the only one down with Covid in her family. Her 73-year-old mother and brother, too, were infected with the virus. All three have recovered.

“All of us had to be admitted to hospital and it was not easy,” her brother said. “When we had to be with her and together she was alone. She knew her treatment for cancer was getting delayed and then there was an added stress of recovering from Covid-19 and she could not share it with her family.”

None of them had any symptom of the disease. The teacher was the first to be diagnosed with Covid-19 because of the mandatory test a couple of days before she was scheduled to undergo the surgery at Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre & Research Institute in Thakurpukur.

In March, when the country had moved into shutdown mode because of the pandemic, she had felt a lump in her breast and tests and scans revealed cancer.

On May 1, a day before her scheduled surgery, her Covid report came positive. A woman who was fine till a few days ago had a second disease in her body. They surgery had to be put on hold.

The teacher and her family went to MR Bangur hospital. She was the first of the three to be discharged from there.

“After she was diagnosed with Covid, we had to wait for her body to be completely rid of the virus. But all through she was very positive,” Arnab Gupta, director of the cancer hospital, said.

“One should not get frightened if they have Covid but it is imperative to follow distancing rules and wear a mask to reduce the chances of infection,” Gupta said.

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