By Sebahatdin Zeyrek
DENIZLI, Turkey (AA) - An elderly Turkish woman thought she would not see her grandchildren again when she tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
"When they said the test result was positive, I thought I wouldn't see my grandchildren again. I felt like death was near," Ayse Akkeceli, 66, told Anadolu Agency, recounting her days of the ordeal.
Akkeceli stayed at the hospital for 20 days in the western Denizli province after testing positive for the virus. Following her recovery, she was isolated at home for the next month.
She did not meet anyone for nearly two months, she said.
Recounting that she had been careful to avoid infection, wearing a mask and observing hygiene rules, Akkeceli said that she could not understand how she had gotten the virus
"I went to the bank in Tavas [district]. While I was in line, I felt pain in my back. I couldn't breathe," she recalled.
"I asked people to call an ambulance. I thought I had the flu," she said. Akkeceli would later learn at the hospital that she contracted the disease once her test result came back positive.
"I was so afraid," Akkeceli said.
Expressing her gratitude for the health workers, she said she was well-treated at the hospital.
"At first, I thought I wouldn't leave the hospital room. But, we overcame this illness and they discharged me," she said.
Akkeceli noted that people would only understand the seriousness of the situation "if they stay alone in a hospital room, and face death with breathing difficulties."
Turkey on Tuesday confirmed 1,183 more cases of COVID-19, raising the tally to 243,180. A total of 226,155 people have recovered from the disease so far.
The death toll stands at 5,873.
* Writing by Sena Guler in Ankara