(TMU) – A man in Palestine who has been scaling the wall of a hospital every night to spend time with his mother during her last dying breaths due to a COVID-19 infection has been widely shared across worldwide social media, striking a chord among internet users and prompting messages of condolences.
For most healthy human beings around the world, there can never be a love more profound than that between a mother and her son.
And with COVID-19 continuing to rage across the world, many are reconsidering what’s important to them while appreciating their families more and more as they realize that mortality has become tragically more likely during the pandemic than at any other time in our lives.
For Jihad Al-Suwaiti of Beit Awwa in the southern West Bank region of Hebron, tragedy struck when his 73-year-old mother Rasmi Suwaiti contracted the coronavirus.
Pour accompagner sa mère atteinte du COVID-19, Jihad Al-Suwaiti grimpait le mur de l’hôpital de Hébron en Cisjordanie…
Rasmi had already been struggling with leukemia when she tested positive for COVID-19, which has been raging across the Palestinian region amid the impoverishment and poor health conditions caused by the Israeli occupation.
For several days, Al-Suwaiti was separated from his mother who was isolated in a hospital room as she underwent treatment for the deadly disease.
Realizing that he may not have another chance to say goodbye to his mother, the 30-year-old man began to scale the wall of the hospital and sit just outside the glass window of the ICU room where his mother stayed to ensure that she didn’t spend her final moments all alone. She tragically succumbed to her illness and passed away on July 16.
“The son of a Palestinian woman who was infected with COVID-19 climbed up to her hospital room to sit and see his mother every night until she passed away,” he wrote.
The touching photo of the man went viral after it was shared on Twitter by United Nations representative Mohamed Safa. The photo was also shared alongside an illustration depicting the same scene, only with an angel who appears to be his mother caressing her son’s head.
The son of a Palestinian woman who was infected with COVID-19 climbed up to her hospital room to sit and see his mother every night until she passed away. pic.twitter.com/31wCCNYPbs
— Mohamad Safa (@mhdksafa) July 18, 2020
“I sat helplessly in the window of the intensive care room watching her last moments,” Al-Suwaiti told Arabic Post.
“She was always afraid and we warned her, but unfortunately she was infected with the virus,” he tearfully continued. “She began showing symptoms of a slight flu … but the symptoms began to gradually intensify, so I brought her to the hospital.”
Continuing, he explained that after about five days in the hospital – where his brother also worked as a nurse in the COVID-19 department – he decided to accompany his mother by scaling the hospital’s walls and sitting “outside the outer glass until she breathed her last breath.”
“I felt the utmost inability to do anything to save her, then she died and left me,” he added.
يا وجع القلب..صورة الشب وهو قاعد ع الشباك من برا، انتشرت بقوة مبارح. وبعد ما سألنا عن سرها، حكولنا انه بالمستشفى براقب…
For Al-Suwaiti, the coronavirus didn’t seem so serious until his mother contracted it and eventually died from it. Like too many Palestinians – and people in general – he largely shrugged the pandemic off until it hit home.
However, now he is saying that any Palestinians who deny the existence of the pandemic should visit the COVID-19 department of the Hebron Hospital to see the huge and growing number of patients who are in a horrific state, if only to understand the deadly threat that their own mothers, fathers, and grandparents face.
Jihad Al-Suwaiti’s story has now gone viral across the world and has been reported in dozens of languages, sparking expressions of sympathy and even emotional cartoons about his devotion to his mother. The tragic tale not only inspires hope, but also is a stark warning about the lethality of the deadly pandemic, which remains far from under control.