Dr Shehryar Khaliqdina was born and brought up in Karachi, Pakistan where he attended Darkhana Jamatkhana. After graduating from the Dow Medical College, he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago. He is currently a third-year Internal Medicine Resident at Saint Mary's Hospital in Connecticut and attends Westport Jamatkhana.

Dr Khaliqdina has been managing Covid-19 patients in the Critical Care Unit for several weeks now. He sees 8-10 patients every day, working about 13 hours a day. Along with the physical stress of working long hours during this critical time, he is also concerned about a potential mental health crisis facing health care workers on the frontlines of this pandemic. He feels that the scarcity of personal protective equipment and its consequential re-use have put the physical and mental well-being of health care professionals at an elevated risk.

“There’s always fear that you are exposed to so many patients and that has generated a lot of anxiety. Even a slight cough or headache gets me worried now.”

This experience has also reminded him of the temporary and unpredictable nature of human life.

“Nothing breaks my heart more than bringing the bad news to the family of the deceased. Faith and hope have been the motivating factors that keep me going.”

Dr Khaliqdina now puts an increased focus on cherishing every moment of life and makes a conscious effort to ensure that all his family and friends take care of their health.

Among a multitude of tragic experiences, the ray of hope for Dr Khaliqdina is when he encounters patients who show signs of recovery. Recalling a 35-year-old patient, he says, “It was such a rewarding and motivating feeling to watch him return healthy to his home and the way he was thanking the team for taking care of him.”

Dr Khaliqdina commends the services of all those working on the frontline in these hard times and urges them “to stay positive and take good care of their physical as well as mental health.”