Muzaffer Kayasan may hold the record for the longest period of infection for any COVID-19 patient in Turkey. The 56-year-old has tested positive for the deadly disease 78 times since 2020 and is seeking a way out of his situation, which has confined him to his home and hospitals for a total of 14 months.
Kayasan, a leukemia patient, was first diagnosed with COVID-19 in November 2020 and was hospitalized. He was discharged from the hospital after a brief treatment period and as his illness became less severe. He returned his home in Istanbul’s Sarıyer district, awaiting full recovery in self-isolation. But it was only the beginning of his confinement. Self-isolation is terminated after two weeks, a period recently reduced for coronavirus patients, if they test negative. But to his chagrin, all 78 tests he was subject to showed Kayasan was still COVID-19 positive. He spent nine months in the hospital and another five months at home in self-isolation.
The man appealed to authorities to find a solution to his situation, which forced him to spend his days alone at home where he can only see his children and grandchildren through a window.
Kayasan told Ihlas News Agency (IHA) on Friday that when he asked doctors about his situation, they told him the tests continue to return positive because of his frail immune system due to the leukemia. He said he was surviving on drugs he was prescribed to keep his immune system bolstered. “It is a very difficult process,” he complained.
His wife stayed with Kayasan for a while during his self-isolation period and tested negative for COVID-19 twice. His son, who also spent time with him, also tested negative. “I first thought I was a carrier, but this is not the case. Nobody except them stayed with me. I think I am more exposed to the virus than them,” he said. “Even a cat passing by the window can infect me,” he joked.
“I was recovered, but I still have the remnants of COVID-19 in my body. This is the only explanation I was given for the positive tests,” he added.
Kayasan says COVID-19 ended his social life. “I have no problem here other than being unable to touch my loved ones. It is very hard. I can’t even get vaccinated because of my condition,” he lamented.