"I will stand and fight until the day I fall," said Li Yonggang, a 58-year-old doctor with femoral head necrosis in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, after working for over 20 consecutive days to treat patients with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Living with the disease for 10 years, Li walks with a limp. Every few meters, he has to stop to relieve his leg pain and has to clutch the handrail as he slowly makes his way up and down the stairs.
As president of the Second Hospital of Daqing, the city's only infectious disease hospital, Li and his colleagues have been on the frontlines fighting the coronavirus and racing against time to treat the 13 infected patients.
Going to bed at about 1 a.m. and getting up at about 7 a.m. has become Li's daily routine. Examining patients in intensive care units, negotiating treatment plans of critically ill patients, and participating in meetings on epidemic prevention and control, Li has worked full time for over 20 days.
"He is more tired than we are," said Chen Yanshi, head of the Information Center of the hospital. "His illness is at the worst stage and he needs a rest."
"I planned to have an operation before the Spring Festival holiday," said Li. "But the outbreak occurred and I had to delay the surgery."
The isolation wards of confirmed patients are the place where Li spends most of his time each day. The doctor, donning a protective suit, stays there up to four hours to check every detail regarding patients.
"Every time he leaves the isolation wards, he could hardly stand due to leg pain," said Chen.
"I am a doctor. I must see patients in person to get information first-hand," said Li.
Li's devotion has touched many colleagues who volunteered to join in the battle against the virus in the hospital.
"He is very concerned about the mental health of medical workers and has invited psychological consultants to offer comfort," said Liu Yuli, a nurse in the hospital. "It is assuring to fight with him."
Thanks to the tireless efforts of the medical workers, the nucleic acid tests of three patients in the hospital had negative results on Feb. 10.
"My fight will not stop until the outbreak is over," said Li, while slowly turning around and making his way toward the isolation wards.