WALVIS BAY - A Keetmanshoop nurse bravely took on heavy currents in the flooded Blouwes River in a desperate attempt to get an 11-month-old baby girl to the Keetmanshoop State Hospital for urgent medical attention on Saturday.
The baby sadly died on Saturday afternoon from the unrevealed ailment.
The nurse, Job Akwaake, working for almost a year at the Keetmanshoop State Hospital, cannot swim but risked his own life by crossing the strong river to rescue the baby, as the family was unable to reach the hospital due to heavy rains resulting in the flood.
A video of Akwaake’s heroic deed surfaced on social media on Saturday, with the slender-built nurse crossing the river to reach the family whose baby was clearly in distress.
Akwaake, in a telephonic interview with New Era yesterday, said the baby’s mother, who seemed disabled, was hysterical from the other side of the river when she realised that they could not cross.
“I could also not become another spectator and watch how a mother was losing her baby and that’s when I decided to cross the river,” said the selfless nurse, who risked his own life to save another.
Akwaake explained that the hospital received a call from Blouwes about the baby and that the family was cut off by the heavily flowing river.
“A colleague and I then drove to the area in a normal government vehicle, as it was just water everywhere. However, the river was too strong and we could not cross it with the vehicle,” he said.
He said they stood for a few minutes on the wall but were troubled by the cries of the mother and the family who were panicking.
“The baby was convulsing at this stage and I also saw that the mother was walking on crutches. That’s when my instinct to help really kicked in,” he said.
Akwaake says he knew the current was very strong, but managed to reach the family in a few minutes and was handed the baby.
“She was still convulsing and as soon as we reached the vehicle we rushed her to the hospital,” he said.
He says she was immediately put on oxygen at the hospital upon arrival.
“Mind you, I only later on realised that I cannot swim but I don’t think that would have stopped me from getting the baby to the hospital,” he said.