SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) – On July 31st, of this year, Mr. Clarence Derby started to feel tired. At first, he did not think much of it, but as it worsened with symptoms such as chest pain, headache, and loss of taste and smell (anosmia and ageusia), Mr. Derby called the 914 number (CPS) and described his symptoms. CPS came the next day to test him, and he tested positive for Covid-19.
As his breathing worsened, he called his doctor, who diagnosed him with Pneumonia, for which he received anti-biotics, and other medication. Despite the medications, the symptoms gradually worsened; breathing became harder, he started to vomit and had stomach problems which further weakened his health. After experiencing dizziness, Mr. Derby fell on the floor, the moment which reality kicked in. He asked his wife to call an ambulance, and within 45 minutes he was in the hospital.
‘’As a child I had mild asthma and it brought me straight back to that feeling. Breathing becomes more difficult and the lack of oxygen in your blood makes you feel very tired,” said Mr. Derby. He continued by explaining; “the problem with Covid-19 is that it can slowly starve the body of Oxygen, and the process is so gradual that you don’t realize it until you get so tired that you can hardly get around.’’
Although Mr. Derby is not the youngest man in town, physically, he is anything but an old man. Those who are close to him know that he is a true sportsman, he swims at least 3 times a week, and completes a mile of swimming in under 20 minutes. He does variations of yoga, dumbbells, and cardio 3 times a week and the building he lives in offers him another great challenge of climbing 154 stairs, 3 times up and down, 3 times a week!
Additionally, Mr. Derby’s awareness and strict regime of a healthy lifestyle is truly admirable. A decade ago, his house doctor told him that he had to change his diet because he was diagnosed with high cholesterol and prediabetes. This news didn’t fall on deaf ears, and within a year he brought his cholesterol levels were back to normal and there were no more signs of prediabetes.
‘’Many young men tell me that I am their role model and that they want to look like me”, said Mr. Derby. “I always tell them that it is a daily lifetime investment and it doesn’t come automatically, you need to start today with at least one hour of sport activities and eat healthy, that’s the secret.
My wife and I are both great believers in a healthy lifestyle, every morning we take a smoothie with Kale, Asparagus, Spinach and other healthy greens. We top it off with a shot of ginger.” Mr. Derby concluded with a smile on his face… “the acquired taste wakes me up instantly! During the Ambulance trip, the paramedics took immediate action and gave him oxygen. The paramedics know that low oxygen levels in the blood, or Silent Hypoxia, can be life threatening and should be taken very seriously. At the hospital, they continued giving him oxygen and quickly after he felt revitalized and much better.
Four days of good care at the hospital did the trick, Mr. Derby felt much better and after checking all his vitals, the doctors cleared him as healthy and strong enough to return to his family.
‘’I am grateful with the care I received from all the healthcare workers during my sickness. We should be forever thankful and proud of all the healthcare workers and front-liners that put their lives at risk by fighting for our health and keep the country going. Serving on the Supervisory Board of the airport, I am acutely aware of all the work that PJIAE management and staff did by implementing world class Covid-19 prevention and mitigation protocols to keep our community, stakeholders and visitors safe.” Mr. Derby ended by saying; “All the work on the background should never be underestimated, it is the fundament of Sint Maarten’s necessary recovery.’’