REGINA -- A Regina man recovering from COVID-19 is sharing his battle with the illness, in the hopes of encouraging others to wear a mask and listen to the advice of the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).

Jony Rahaman said he believes he came in contact with someone who had COVID-19 on October 6. He was contacted about the positive case later that week, got tested, and found out he was positive the following Tuesday.

“The first day, I was feeling okay, just like nothing had happened to me. I took it easy, but after three days, my cough got worse,” said Rahaman. “Then, I was running out of breath. One day, I had to call 911 two times.”

After his positive test result, Rahaman isolated himself in his room, to protect his wife and children from being exposed.

“Babies were crying. My wife was crying. I was crying, but we [couldn’t] see each other. I didn’t want to see them for their safety,” Rahaman said.

However, Rahaman’s wife and three-year-old daughter later tested positive for the virus. The family is currently waiting on the test results for their one-and-a-half-year-old son. Rahaman said his wife and children are experiencing “light” symptoms.

“I have so many good friends. They bring food and leave it on my doorstep. We are lucky that we don’t have to think of food and groceries and other supplies and even medication,” Rahaman said.

Rahaman said he is grateful for both his doctor and the on-call staff at the SHA, as they have been available for support over the phone whenever he has needed it.

“They want people out there to be safe. So, I would say to everyone, please listen to them. And wear a mask,” Rahaman said. “The day I got infected, I was wearing a mask. But I put it down. I don't know why I did it. And I'm paying for it. At one point, I was feeling like my life is over.”

In 2017, Rahaman suffered a spinal cord injury, so he is on several medications. He said he also has high blood pressure and is overweight.

“I didn’t think I would survive,” Rahaman said. “I’m from Bangladesh. I’ve lost family members because of COVID. I know how it feels like.”

Rahaman said he is thankful to live in Canada, where treatment is available to those infected with the virus. He decided to share his story so he could thank the SHA staff that helped him, and remind the public of the severity of COVID-19.

“Wash your hands and never think, ‘Oh, I’ll just let it go for this time.’ A one-time mistake could be life threatening. That’s what happened (to me),” he said. “Listen to what the health authority tells you... these people don’t even know us, but they want us to be safe.”