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May 8, 2020

British-Pakistani wakes up from coma to learn mother died from Covid-19

National

May 8, 2020

LONDON: A British Pakistani entertainment executive woke up from a month long induced coma to find out that his mother had passed away after losing battle in the same hospital to COVID-19.

Sohail Anjum spent 25 days in an induced coma at Croydon University Hospital battling a severe form of the deadly virus but while he managed to regain consciousness almost a month later he learnt that his mother had passed away few days after he had been admitted into hospital.

Sohail Anjum’s work has previously appeared in international publications. He has worked with most of Bollywood and Pakistani celebrities as a photographer.

After spending six weeks in hospital, Sohail Anjum, 47, has finally returned to his home to his father, 85, and wife but to a changed world where his mother, 81, was no more. He told The News and Geo: “I was in an induced coma when my mother passed away in the hospital. They allowed my brother to see her under exceptional circumstances for the last time as the hospital was on lockdown and no visitation was allowed. She asked about me and told my bother that she was praying for my health. I believe it was my mother's prayer before she passed away that saved my life."

Sohail Anjum said: “I am thankful for me another life but I have come back to life to find that my mother is no more around. I am still weak and in need of physiotherapy and will take a few months to be on my feet again. I cannot explain in words how dangerous Covid19 is. My advice to everyone is to take COVID-19 seriously. It’s a killer and its real. Don’t believe in conspiracy theories. It poses threat to everyone, universally.” Sohail Anjum is not sure how he contracted coronavirus but confirmed he was travelling widely on London’s public transport network – tubes and buses – at the time when COVID-19 was not taken seriously and could have contracted it from there.

He started having symptoms around the second week of March and remained in self-isolation at home and was then taken to Croydon University Hospital.

His mother, 81, started showing symptoms a few days after Sohail Anjum was admitted and taken to the same hospital. She passed away a few days later and buried shortly after, while her son was on a ventilator in the same hospital battling for his life.

Sohail Anjum found out that his mother was no more almost a month after waking up from his coma.

Sohail Anjum developed headaches and fever and went to see his doctor but was told he should take paracetamol to deal with flu like symptoms. He called the NHS hotline but no help was offered till his situation worsened and was eventually taken to A&E. “My oxygen levels were dropping and I was restless. The last thing I remember is when a doctor told me that they will put me to an induced sleep.”

Sohail Anjum remained on a ventilator for over three weeks and was then placed under sedation. He woke up after a week. Doctors didn’t tell him his mother has passed away to save him from trauma.

Sohail Anjum’s hospital admission and his battle with the deadly virus was gained a lot of attention on social media with prominent celebrities including Mahira Khan, Haroon, Faakhir, Abhishek Bachchan, Raghav, Salman Ahmad, Ali Zafar and Gauahar Khan sending good wishes.

Along with showbiz celebrities from India and Pakistan, community members, prominent journalists and close friends, social media users touched by his plight offered prayers. Sohail Anjum was born and raised in London and worked locally for various publications and private clients till around 2012 and then he moved to Dubai in 2013 to work for an online streaming platform. He returned to London in April 2019 to be close to his elderly parents.