A Doctor’s Calling

For about a month, Professor Bülent Tutluoğlu, a Pulmonologist with Acıbadem Healthcare Group, was battling COVID-19 in the intensive care unit, with a 50% chance of recovery. Over the course of treatment, he was intubated and placed on plasmapheresis or ‘cleaning’ of blood and stem cell therapy. Yet all he could think of was getting back to his patients.

Professor Tutluoğlu was one of the first few physicians who were infected by COVID-19 in Turkey several days after the country recorded its first case on 11 March. He was admitted to the hospital on 17 March, where he was eventually tested COVID-19 positive.

As his condition worsened, he was transferred to the intensive care unit, where he was put on ventilation and started on a challenging treatment involving plasmapheresis and stem cell therapy.

While I was anaesthetised by my colleagues at the intensive care unit, I told myself that I cannot be defeated by this infection,” said the Professor.

After battling the disease for almost a month, he was finally well to go home. As he walked out of the ward, cheered on by well-wishers, his first response when asked what he was looking forward to most, was: “I can go back to treating my patients now!”