“When I submitted my application to work at the National Emergency Aid Centre (EKAB), following a call by the Minister of Health, I told my friends that “we are going to war”
National Emergency Aid Centre Rescuers Konstantina Papachristodoulou (L), 39 y.o. and Thomas Koulakiotis, 48 y.o., in an ambulance at the EKAB operation centre, 11 April 2020. Thomas Koulakiotis is married and has one child. He has been working as a rescuer in the private sector for the past seven years. When the Minister of Health called for doctors and nursing staff to be hired to deal with the pandemic, he applied and belongs to the first lot of those thrown into the battle against the coronavirus. He started working at EKAB on 1 April 2020.
“It looks like a simple clasping of the hand, but it’s so much more. It is the moment that a COVID-19 patient is awakened from sedation. It is the moment when you know that you and your team with stand proudly before the patient and their loved ones. It is the moment that gives meaning to everything you fought for.
A COVID-19 patient is awakened from sedation (people call it “induced coma”) and holds the doctor’s hand tightly.
“Sometimes, you know that a patient’s condition is beyond your skills to reverse it. Realistically, this means that may be you should have let go. Yet, you’re still there, fighting. Even you get no direct results, you know that the knowledge gained will be life-saving for others”
An intensive care specialist makes a last attempt to resuscitate a COVID-19 patient, who died a few hours later. He knows that this attempt has negligible chances for success, but feels that this is the least he can do for someone dying – and for himself.
Nurses Maria Tsamouri (M), Taimpa-Naz Riaz (L) and Iordana Moskofi (R), pose behind the glass separating the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), touching the hand reflections of doctors Giorgos Dimopoulos (R) and Dimitris Konstantonis (R), at the hospital “Attico” in Haidari, on 15 April 2020. Giorgos Dimopoulos is an intensive care medicine professor at the University of Athens, head of the coronavirus unit at “Attico” Hospital. He is married, with children.
“My friends say I’m a hero, but I don’t feel like a hero; I’m just doing my job and what I really love”
National Emergency Aid Centre (EKAB) Rescuer, Konstantina Papachristodoulou (L), 39 y.o., poses in an ambulance at the operation centre of EKAB, 11 April 2020. Katerina Papachristodoulou is married to a National Emergency Aid Centre (EKAB) rescuer and has one child.