Ho Chi Minh CityReturning from the dead after contracting Covid, former cascadeur Lu Dac Long made a film in gratitude to doctors and performed charity projects as a way of giving back to life.
At a hidden cafe in a crowded alley in District 1, Mr. Lu Dac Long (56 years old, former cascadeur – action stuntman, freelance reporter, photographer) sketches out 3D photos with friends. will exhibit in September. The theme of the exhibition is “Artist gratitude” with the participation of many veteran photographers: Gian Thanh Son, Thai Ngoc Son, Tran Huu Tri, Do Duy Ngoc, Thai Nhan, Huynh My Thuan…
This is not the first time he and his friends have made a photo exhibition for charity purposes, but it is the first project he cherished to “repay life” after being revived from death. He said, although he had the idea right after he was discharged from the hospital, in August 2021, but suffered from severe post-Covid-19 sequelae, he only started implementing it in the last few months. He contributed about 20 works. All proceeds from the exhibition will be donated to artists in need and the poor.
Previously, the amount of 140 million VND that his friends supported when he was seriously ill, was given to people who are in need, sick during the epidemic season and kitchens with 0 VND. “I’m grateful that my family is alive. It would be selfish to think only of myself,” he said.
In the middle of last year, Mr. Long thought he had died many times in more than 40 days with Covid-19. Recalling that period, he still shuddered hauntingly. That was the time when the epidemic in Saigon broke out violently. His alley was blocked for weeks because there were hundreds of new infections. After fainting in the bathroom, he had a positive rapid test result and was transferred to a hospital near the house for isolation and treatment.
The onslaught of nCoV combined with diabetes, high blood pressure and unvaccinated people knocked down the man who used to be a martial artist. “At that time, I could only sit with my back against the wall, coughing incessantly as if I wanted to pull my lungs out. My mouth was stiff, my tongue was numb, my throat and chest were sore, making me short of breath, respiratory failure, and had to be assisted to breathe. oxygen,” he said.
After that, the disease progressed worse, he showed signs of blood clotting, heart arrhythmia, severe pneumonia, so he was transferred to Cho Ray Hospital for emergency. During this time, he lost consciousness several times due to acute respiratory failure. Doctors and nurses had to be on duty day and night, ready to intubate, constantly change the treatment regimen with the best effort to save him.
Witnessing that the patient in the same room was dying, dying and worrying about the health of his wife and two sons who also had F0, Mr. Long could not eat or sleep. In the first two weeks of being hospitalized, he went from 68 kg to only 56 kg, exhausted both physically and mentally.
Covid-19 patients are easily lonely and panic, so doctors and nurses often ask, explain and chat to help them calm down. Mr. Long was especially impressed with a young male doctor, tall and tall, every time he entered the room, he laughed and talked. He went to each hospital bed, held hands and asked, “Just eat – play – sleep – rest – practice breathing, where is the doctor to take care of”. Sometimes he told jokes, or teased, reading his name backwards as “Long Shake Lu”, causing the whole room to laugh along. That optimism dispels the gloomy atmosphere in the hospital room with the smell of antiseptic and the endless “heading” sound of the ventilator.
Especially, for Mr. Long, the strongest spiritual medicine is knowing that his wife and children have recovered from their illness, finished isolation, and can go home. “More than half of the burden has been lifted,” he said. From that day, like a miracle, the actor’s health gradually recovered. He gradually weaned down to low-dose oxygen, then was able to walk, even practice martial arts, growing banana trees with his head. After more than 20 days of treatment at Cho Ray Hospital, he was discharged.
After recovering from illness, he and a crew went to Cho Ray Hospital and the Covid-19 Resuscitation Center to make a report Stormy days. The 42-minute film chronicles the sacrifices and fierce battles of doctors and nurses with Covid-19 in an effort to win each patient’s life. He considers it a small gratitude to those who reached out to save him at the time of death.
Through life-and-death events, witnessing the sudden death of many relatives and friends, the former cascadeur realized that he had to correct his lifestyle. Instead of often staying up at night working, forgetting to take his diabetes and high blood pressure medication as before, he now sets an alarm to remind himself. He also reduces the intensity of work, maintains the gym for at least 30 minutes a day, sleeps before 10 pm… He also spends a lot of time with his family, meeting friends and participating in volunteer activities. With old friends, who used to be angry with each other for many years, or separated without talking, he actively contacted and reconciled.
“Once going through death, life will be lighter,” he said.