On Monday (20 July), Groote Schuur Hospital celebrated with Zukiswa Maqana on her discharge from the hospital after having been in hospital for a period of 77 days. She was one of the longest hospitalised COVID-19 patients across the provincial public health service.
Zukiswa (48) was admitted to the Mitchells Plain District Hospital on 4 May with severe COVID-19 pneumonia and quickly transferred to GSH the next day as she was very unwell and likely required intensive care. She was immediately admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and was intubated and ventilated there for 51 days out her 54-day ICU stay.
“It was a rocky course through the ICU with complications and other infections along the way. Eventually, she left the ICU on 28 June and arrived in ward F5. She could hardly talk or walk on arrival in the ward, but slowly grew stronger, as she was rehabilitated by physiotherapy and nursing. The medical care received transformed her into the radiant patient who danced out of the hospital on 20 July. One of the infections she had required her to complete a 4-week intravenous antibiotic course,” said Dr Henri Pickardt, General Surgeon at GSH.
Zukiswa works in Somerset West and lives in Samora Machel with her a 29-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter. Her mother came from the Eastern Cape when she got sick, to help look after the house and her daughter. Having also lost her husband in 2017, it was special for hospital staff to celebrate with the children that their mother has recovered well.
Zukiswa is very thankful to the GSH staff who looked after during her staff at the hospital, and therefore they are today’s Groote Schuur Hospital Appreciation heroes. No one would have expected her to be dancing out of the hospital, but the jubilation was there for all to see.
On 4 May 2020, Zuliswa Maqana was admitted to hospital with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Her road to recovery was a rocky one, but after 77 days (54 of these in ICU) she danced her way out of Groote Schuur Hospital with overjoyed staff by her side.💃🙏💕 pic.twitter.com/23xqFkNTVN
— Western Cape Gov (@WesternCapeGov) July 22, 2020
“Thank you so much to Groote Schuur. Everybody was so nice to me and the doctors were wonderful. I am so happy with the treatment I got at Groote Schuur. I didn’t know what day it was [when I entered the hospital] and I couldn’t move for weeks. But they helped me learn to walk again after 77 days. And they were all so happy for me when I could go home.”
Head of Department, Dr Keith Cloete, expressed his gratitude to the specialist care the staff have been able to deliver to patients such as Zuliswa.
“Groote Schuur Hospital has been running its Appreciation Wednesday campaign to give appreciation to ordinary heroes who are inspiring others during the Covid-19 pandemic. The staff who treated Zukiswa Maqana are definitely heroes. We know our staff work under challenging circumstances during this pandemic, but it is heart-warming episodes such as this and all the other wonderful stories we have been privilege to experience which does so much to continue to inspire our staff to be on the frontline in taking care of our patients.”