'I thought I would never wake up,' Belgian doctor says after surviving COVID-19


Posted at Apr 20 2020 01:13 PM

'I thought I would never wake up,' Belgian doctor says after surviving COVID-19 1
Belgian doctor Antoine Sassine, urologist at Chirec Delta Hospital, who survived the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after 6 weeks in the intensive care unit and 3.5 weeks in a coma embraces his wife Alexandra as he leaves the hospital in Brussels, Belgium, April 19, 2020. Yves Herman, Reuters

BRUSSELS - A Belgian urologist has spoken of his "incredible" experience, having survived COVID-19 and been discharged from intensive care after three weeks in a coma.

"I was seeing my end," Antoine Sassine said from his room at Brussels' Delta Chirec hospital, where he used to work. "I thought I was going to die and would never wake up."

The 58-year-old and his team were all diagnosed at the hospital and he was admitted to the intensive care unit when his symptoms worsened.

Sassine was placed in an induced coma, but says he was aware of his desire to fight the disease and that he also had visions of his late father.

Describing the experience as "incredible", Sassine, who was moved out of intensive care on Tuesday, said: "I saw my father, who died four years ago. I spoke with him."

"My greatest joy was when I woke up and saw the faces of my friends, it was indescribable."

Now he is looking forward to hugging his family, who he has not seen since he was diagnosed, and recuperating at home.

Belgium has reported 38,496 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 5,683 deaths. (Reporting by Yves Herman Writing by Marine Strauss Editing by David Goodman)