He is not a healthcare professional, but he has saved at least one critically ill patient with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). He is Ah Yan, a 48-year-old Constable stationed at the North Point Police Station who unfortunately contracted COVID-19 early this year. After his full recovery, Ah Yan’s blood indeed became a literal lifesaver for patients in need.
Sharing with OffBeat the emotional roller coaster that he had been on, Ah Yan said, “In February this year, I sought medical treatment at a clinic for my cough and fever, and I gave a sample of my deep throat saliva. Test results later confirmed that I had contracted COVID-19, and I was subsequently admitted to the United Christian Hospital. At first, I could not help having so many concerns, and I was most worried if I had infected my family, friends, colleagues and anyone else before I even developed symptoms.”
Luckily, things were looking up. Under doctors’ care, Ah Yan’s fever subsided in just three days and he no longer felt unwell or showed any symptoms. Meanwhile, members of his family were isolated and test results showed that they were uninfected with the coronavirus as well. On March 8, Ah Yan tested negative for COVID-19 twice, and thus he was discharged from hospital. Given that Ah Yan fully recovered from the episode of COVID-19 and experienced no after-effects, he swiftly resumed his duties in the Force in late March.
In mid-April, Ah Yan went for a follow-up consultation at the Queen Mary Hospital, and provided his blood sample for the university to research the bodily responses of COVID-19 survivors. Afterwards, Ah Yan was notified that his blood could actually be of help to other confirmed patients. In fact, the type of “convalescent plasma” that can fight coronavirus is very scarce, as the qualified donors have to be men aged between 18 and 60 and free from serious illnesses. Besides, the minimum antibody concentration in their plasma must be 1:160.
Without the slightest hesitation, Ah Yan donated blood thrice between April and June. As far as he knew, when he made the first donation, there were only less than 10 persons in Hong Kong who were both qualified and willing to give blood after their recovery from COVID-19. When Ah Yan learnt from medical staff that the convalescent plasma extracted from his blood had saved at least one critically ill patient in the Intensive Care Unit, he was over the moon.
Since the outbreak of protests against the extradition law amendment in June last year, Hong Kong has been plagued by impassioned disputes and the Force has been caught in the cross hairs. When it comes to the pandemic this year, police officers who had come down with COVID-19 often became the subject of ridicule to some people in society who were intent on rubbing salt into the wound and revelling in their misfortune. Although Ah Yan did get upset over their heartless remarks, his determination to save lives has never wavered. He said, “From the moment I joined the Force 24 years ago, to the time I made my recent blood donations, I have never forgotten my wish all along, which is simply to help people.”
Recently, Hong Kong has been grappling with its third wave of COVID-19 infections. However, social tensions and conflicts remain palpable. In such difficult times, Ah Yan sincerely hopes that all the people of Hong Kong can stay united in this uphill battle against the ongoing pandemic.
Members of OffBeat Editorial Committee:
|Mr Kenneth Kwok||CSP PPRB (Chairperson)|
|Ms Jessica Wong||PIO PP PPRB|
|Mr Raymond Lee||CIP MR PPRB|
|Ms Tsui Lok-yan||TSRO HKI|
|Ms Louise Wong||TSRO KE|
|Mr Tony Chow||ATSRO KW|
|Mr Marco Chan||ATSRO NTN|
|Ms Grace Mak||TSRO NTS|
|Ms Angela Lai||TSRO MAR|
|Mr Wilson Tam||SIP SR 2|
|Ms Phyllis Yeung||SIP A&S HKPC|
|Ms Ada Wong||SIP HQ (2) CRM|
|Mr Ma Tak-hung||JPOA REP|
|Mr Jeff Mok||EO G&D|
|Editor:||Ivy Leung: 2860-6171|
|Reporter:||Dickson Choi: 2860-6172|
|Photographers:||Hugo Lam: 2860-6174
Lam Yu-san: 2860-6175
|Address:||10/F, Arsenal House, Police Headquarters,
No.1 Arsenal Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
|Deadline for Issue 1167:||August 20, 2020 (before 6pm)
|Deadline for Issue 1168:||September 3, 2020 (before 6pm)
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Published by the Police Public Relations Branch, Hong Kong Police Force