My 2020 Moments: Love under COVID
Global Stringer

Editor's note: 2020 is over, even though it felt like it's been going on for a decade, with so many world-changing events, and there is no simple way to sum it up. But when faced with the very worst, there were ordinary people who remained positive, optimistic and energetic. There was also courage, sacrifice, heroism and hope, making up the touching moments of 2020. CGTN Global Stringer invited people from different countries to share their heartwarming stories.

Dejan Velimirovic, a 35-year-old programmer, was one of Serbia's first-known COVID-19 patients. He believes he got infected at a farewell party on February 29, 2020. Despite being young and having no history of chronic illnesses, his condition worsened quickly. "He was lying in the bed for about a week before he went to the hospital; he didn't get up at all," his partner Valentina recalls.

Dejan Velimirovic and Valentina Gmitrovic. /CGTN Photo

Dejan Velimirovic and Valentina Gmitrovic. /CGTN Photo

Velimirovic was then put into a medically induced coma and on a ventilator for eight days as doctors tried to save him and return health to his lungs. In total, he spent almost six weeks in hospital without seeing his loved ones.

Thanks to the team of doctors and nurses, Velimirovic was eventually released and reunited with Valentina. He was shaking as he greeted his partner, as they could finally be with each other again.

Dejan Velimirovic and Valentina Gmitrovic. /CGTN Photo

Dejan Velimirovic and Valentina Gmitrovic. /CGTN Photo

The couple planned to hold a church wedding and invite the medical staff who oversaw Velimirovic's care. However, as the pandemic hasn't ended, they have had to postpone it. 

But by the end of 2020, they have their health and they have each other. "I will remember this year for everything that has happened to me," said Velimirovic. "When I talked to Valentina for the first time when I came back home, that moment was the most touching for me."

Supervisor: Pang Xinhua

Executive producer: Li Xiangyang

Chief editor: Wang Dewei

Original screenplay: Wang Yueer

Editors: Wang Yueer, Liu Xincong, Zhang Yifang

Copy editor: Bertram Niles

Cover image: Fan Chenxiao

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