“The pregnant mother who tested positive for Covid-19 is recovering with family”

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Story by Motsieng Mooketsi

Klerksdorp – Two weeks ago we published a story about a pregnant mother who tested positive for Covid-19 who was admitted at Life Ancron Hospital.

Seipati Ngwejane contacted Maklera Magazine to share her story in an attempt to create awareness to the public about the seriousness of the virus, so that everyone can take precautionary measures set out by government.

Just a day after sharing the ordeal with us, things took a turn for the worse, her husband and 14 year old son also tested positive. They were admitted immediately, she was shattered, confused and cried profusely, she says.

The “Ngwejanes” were discharged from Sunningdale Hospital last week Tuesday after a two week long medical treatment process of, isolation, testing, quarantine and observation.

Seipati took us on a brave journey of the family’s two week recovery process”, where she had to remain strong, adapt to isolation and support her family, in the midst of fighting this invisible enemy she had to fight the stigma of being a Covid-19 patient from the some people who know her.

Rumours of her hospital admission spread quickly and she received phone calls and massages from people enquiring about the validity of the rumour, in some instances she says people treated them differently as though they had willingly contracted the virus.

Her recollection of receiving a call from the hospital with the shocking news, that she had tested positive for Covid-19, sent her on a panic mode, but! she later came to her senses, stayed positive and decided to endure.

Her arrival at the hospital and admission were like a scene out of a horror movie as she ghastly describes it.

The hospitals used wards that are designated and isolated for Covid-19 patients, where there is less movement of people.

The seriousness of the virus is seen with a few steps that a diagnosed Covid-19 patient goes through when he/she arrives at the hospital for the first time.

First of all you park a few metres away from the hospital facility, and whoever accompanied you is not allowed into the hospital, someone comes to fetch you, it is scary because they come wearing those unusual PPEs, this is followed by a procession to the isolated ward, blood tests are taken to check your condition.

“From that point on you can feel that you are a Covid-19 patient, because you are treated differently, with special care… because you are like a breathing and walking infectious bomb and they try by all means to get people cleared off your way, it is taken very seriously”.

Seipati says the seriousness of the virus is treated as an emergency in that 10 to 20 munites after checking in at the hospital, a personnel from the department of health came in to take notes of where she went, who she was with, and other medical questions concerning the symptoms and exposure to a Covid-19 person. The Department of Health visited everyone that met with her prior the hospital admission.

They were screened and showed no signs and symptoms, and then the deparment advised them to stay home for 14 days.

After taking all the information at admission, the doctor arrived and explained that they will take blood samples for testing, during this process, one medical specialist had realised that there would be challenges with taking blood samples due to the blood clots that had formed in her immune system, which made it difficult to draw blood.

Blood clots

Eventually the doctor was able to draw blood and fill up two bottles of blood samples which were taken to the testing lab.

“Seipati Ngwejane says she was still very sick the first night at the hospital, but the medication and care she received helped her very much”.

At around 02:00 am in the early hours of 15 May 2020 on a Friday, she got fever attacks, which; “she describes as feeling cold and yet having a high fever temperature“, the medical staff gave her extra blankets, and put drips on to stop body pains.

Drips

I received antibiotics and vatimins, through drips, reason being they wanted the madication to rush quickly into the blood stream to clean up my system“.

She was dosed vatimins C, D, and E twice a day until she went home, the first 7 days she received the vatimins through drips, after the 7 days she consumed the medicine through the mouth, together with the blood thiners.

The son and the husband were given their vatimins once every second day of the week, during their last 7 days and a dose of panados if they had body pains, with one injection each for prevention of blood clots per night.

Medication

The husband “Ofentse Ngwejane” and their son were admitted for quarantine and observations, because the virus had not affected them that much, they were observed to counter any changes in the body and blood to prevent cloting and the escalation of symptoms, they only received one 40 gram of injections per night.

Seipati Ngwejane‘s condition, on the other hand was treated with urgency and seriousness, because of the high level of Covid-19 on the system, she was dosed with two 80 grams of injections everyday throughout the period they stayed at the hospitals.

On Saturday morning, 16 May 2020 she was tested again and the results showed the virus was still very high on her system, the Doctor told her they will be kept a little longer at the hospital.

“During their stay at the hospital, they received rapid visits from the doctor, and psychological support for anxiety and stress were available upon request – They were given exercises to do everyday, one hour for some fresh air at the garden…everything would be cleared off their way when they went outside, the rest of the days they stayed inside and were not allowed to go out.

She says what fascinated her is that; paper work was not allowed in a ward room of a Covid-19 patient, a nurse would come with a small piece of paper to write the vitals and read them to another staff member who is assigned to capture information on the file.

They were given food on disposables, and next to their rooms there were boxes which were used as dustbins, and they would throw everything on the boxes, and later on, everything on the box would be burned.

Disposables

By Sunday afternoon they were discharged and made their way to Sunningdale Hospital – their belongings, such as clothes, cellphones and laptops were sanitized upon their arrival, which was their last stop and process of recovery.

On Monday 25 May, she was tested in order to see progress, the tests showed that, there was progress and a low level of iron which was affected by her pregnancy.

Prior their discharged, no tests were done, the medical staff explained that the government does not have the resources that can prove that a positively diagnosed patient is cleared off the virus after the 14 days medical process of recovery, infact they said they will test positive again should a test sample be conducted.

She says that, recovery is based on going through all the steps that the department of health practices on a Covid-19 infected person, as the medical professionals are able to determine how long the virus is able to stay in the immune system if a patient is medically treated by health professionals and or follows the prescribed medications and self-quarantine process for 14 days. This is an assumption made by Seipati Ngwejane.

The level of infection on the “Ngwejanes” was not life threatening, the symptoms and their level on Seipati were high as a result of her immune vulnerability because of her pregnant condition.

You can be infected by Covid-19 and recover without knowing“…, Seipati says there is truth in a joke that has been making the rounds on social media and that is; “Let the best immune system winIt’s not a lie, because if it wasn’t because of the vulnerability of being pregnant, we would have healed from Covid-19 without knowing, you can imagine how many people are infected and infecting others because.

According to Seipati her son was vulnerable because of he does not have a spleen, therefore his immune system is not able to produce anti-bodies that can fight the virus so he was bound to be infected.

They suspect, the husband might have brought the virus home as he was the one who went out to the shops to buy essentials, “Ofentse Ngwejane” “The Husband” is a healthy person and only suffers from sinuses.

Their other two children were tested and had no symptoms, they were moved to relatives. The nanny and the brother-in-law were in self-isolation after been taken to Klerksdorp hospital for testing.

The deparment of health suggested that they go to a government isolation facility in Christiana where in Seipati and her husband came to the rescue with the option of their house as an option self-isolation instead of the nanny and brother-in-law traveling to Christiana where the they are not known, the deparment advised them not to share utensils, the bathroom.

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