- Rebecca Woods
- BBC News – West Midlands
Nurse Arima Nasrin, one of the youngest health workers in Britain, was among those who lost their lives due to Covid-19 disease at the beginning of the epidemic last year.
Now, nearly a year after her death, her sister tells of Arimas last life-changing words.
The last time she saw Qassima, her sister alive, was while she was preparing to go to the intensive care room with ventilators, in the hospital where the sisters were working.
She recalls the moment when her sister Arima, who is 36, disappeared in front of her, behind the double doors, saying, “She waved to me with her hand and said to me I love you.”
But Arima had one final message, which she asked a colleague in the hospital to deliver to her sister moments before she was put under anesthesia. “She said to her colleague,” Make sure my sister will work hard, I want her to follow in my footsteps … That was the last thing she said, “she added, adding a voucher with grief.
The two sisters, born in the West Midlands of England, were not separated from each other along with their younger sister Ash, for their entire lives.
Arima was only a coupon three years older, but she was “like a mother” to the two younger sisters.
“My mother knew that she could travel anywhere outside Britain, because she was aware that Arima would be able to take care of us all,” she says.
Each of them reflected the life of the other, as the two sisters traveled together to Pakistan when they were still in their teens, because their parents wanted to marry them there.
Their wedding took place in one night and with two brothers, and they all lived together for six months.
“We grew up quickly, and after a short period of time we had children,” says Qassima. Even their last two children were born on the same date. And both of them were very keen in her work.
When Arima started her job at the hospital at the age of 19 in 2003, in Manor, the neighborhood in which she lived, her younger sister followed suit and hastened to work like her.
But the older sister always dreamed of becoming a nurse. Indeed, with the help of her husband, Fadhel Tahseen, she joined the university, becoming the first in the family to complete his studies.
In 2019, she became a nurse in the hospital that served as her “second home”.
“It was her childhood dream,” says Qassima, praising her son-in-law who helped her sister achieve her dream.
And she adds, “It is not easy for an Asian girl married to someone from another country to complete her studies after marriage, but he helped her and stood by her side until the end, and he told her: You can do what you want.”
The nursing profession fit Arimas warm-hearted personality and warm heart.
Her sister recalls, “how her care for the people made a great impact … and she often sent money to Pakistan to help others.”
And she adds, “If someone needs an atom of help, give him a quintal of it … I donated money to a family that needs help in order to travel to Makkah and perform the Hajj, and she was not satisfied with that, but rather traveled with them.”
It is no surprise that Arima was the celebrity and celebrity in the ICU department.
She had started working in that department three months ago when she started complaining of a pain in her back. Her family thought it was just stress and exhaustion after she moved to another abode.
“She was never sick. When she said that she was tired and lethargic, we thought she had exhausted herself a lot at work, but in the end she started coughing a lot,” says Qassima.
It was March 2020 and little was known about the symptoms of COVID-19.
But Arima continued her work, thinking that she had a temporary health condition and would soon be gone.
Her sister recalls: “The last change in her condition was the worst ever. We asked her to stay at home, but she did not want to leave her work. She was panting to catch her breath.”
“She died in her husband’s arms“
When her condition continued to deteriorate, her family called an ambulance. Two days later, she tested positive for corona, and the family confirmed their doubts and confirmed their concerns.
“She sent me a text message saying she had Covid-19, accompanied by sad emoji,” she says.
Arima remained ill in the hospital, and after a few days, I received another letter from her in which she said, “My lungs are full of it” and that she was transferred to the intensive care unit.
Kassima immediately went to the hospital, which is not far from her home, and says, “I stumbled and fell on the ground, but I continued running to the hospital.”
The two sisters sat together until her sister, Arima, was put on a ventilator.
At first it looked as if she was getting better. But as the epidemic has proven, the Corona virus can develop in the bodies of those infected with it in stages, and Arimas condition has completely deteriorated.
After that, “I got a phone call, they said, ‘We are so sorry,’ I asked them what are you trying to tell me? My sister is dying?”
“My sister died in her husband’s arms,” but Qassima was not surprised by her sister’s last words.
“I knew she would say it right away, because Arima was the type who places importance on others and thinks about them before himself.”
The two sisters had repeatedly discussed the younger sister’s ambition to pursue the same career path as Arima, but Kassima had not had a high school diploma, so, she thought, there was no hope of becoming a nurse like her sister.
“I used to tell her,” I can’t do that, because I’m not smart enough … but she would answer me: You can. She kept saying to me constantly, Trust what I say, you can achieve your ambition. “
Her words have stuck in Kasser’s mind ever since.
Although the pain caused by the loss of her sister tired her psychologically and mentally, she found strength in becoming a healthcare assistant and in the same ward that Arima worked in prior to her death.
This week, she began an apprenticeship that will pave her way to a nursing degree.
“I now have a pencil case and a calculator,” she said. “I was excited to buy these tools, just like any student.”
Working in the intensive care unit was an encouraging incentive for her, especially with the pictures of her sister, Arima, hanging on the walls of the hospital in her honor, as her spirit is there, at least through the memories of her close colleagues.
A scholarship in her name has been set up to fund students who want to study nursing and dream of a career in healthcare but are unable to afford it.
The first student to receive this scholarship will be announced soon.
A voucher states: “Arimas legacy will continue. She has always wanted to be a nurse, and we were all proud of her. I hope that she is an inspiration to many who think that they are unable to achieve their goals, because in fact they are able to achieve it.”