The world keeps on preaching of the danger of Covid-19 and that we must take care of ourselves by following the World Health Organisation’s safety rules. But as much as we try to keep safe, I somehow picked up Coronavirus.
I woke up one day, feeling nauseous but thought it was just the usual cold and flu. After taking self-medications for a week, I realised that instead of getting better, the situation was deteriorating.
A friend warned me that it could be Covid-19 and I must go get tested, but I brushed the advice off. That’s until when on the night of 13 June 2021 I got a serious episode attack. Out of my sleep, I was dehydrated, so I tried to walk to the kitchen for a cup of freshwater, but unbeknownst to me, my oxygen level was very low, and breathing difficulties kicked it sharply. I collapsed instantly.
My housemate found me on the floor and together with the neighbour they rushed me to the hospital. This was around 06h00am. We got to Lady Pohamba, and they had to bring me from the car with a wheelchair because I was weak. The nurses studied my symptoms and confirmed that it was Covid-19, and just like a joke she said, “Sorry we can’t help you. The hospital is full. Please try Catholic Hospital.”
Guys, there’s nothing worse than been turned away by a whole health institution when you are on the verge of dying. Despair was kicking in, but I remembered that I have a son; I had to stay strong. At this point, time was not on my side and I needed urgent medical attention.
We hastily drove to Catholic Hospital as advised. The nurse there checked my pulse and oxygen level, and said: “Sir, your oxygen level is critically low. Please proceed to check at Medi Clinic or Lady Pohamba because we are full and can’t help you”. My God!
By this time, I was very weak, afraid, hopeless, and in my attempt to ask God to spare my life, I was praying and recounting some Bible verses that I hardly even know. “I am still young and have so much to live for. I can’t die now Lord. Please save me,” I murmured. I knew there and then that my life was in the hands of God and only by his grace that I was going to make it.
Fear and anxiety were making it worse. People were telling me to keep calm and strong. But how could I when the deadly Covid-19 has infiltrated and made a feast of my lungs? How could I be strong when the body is deprived of oxygen, and hospitals are not taking me in?
At this point, we knew if we go to Medi Clinic, we were likely going to be turned away again. So we decided to go to my doctor. She couldn’t do much, because I needed oxygen. She however gave me a medicine named “Bronkese Compound” that opened up my lungs a bit. It was a short but much-needed relief to inhale a line of fresh life (air). That was however just to buy me time, while I continue my search for urgent medical assistance.
My doctor however advised that we proceed to Katutura Hospital because I needed oxygen urgently. When we got to Katutura hospital, they wanted to send us to Robert Mugabe Clinic, but at this point, the situation was no longer “critical” but “stable”. They realized that it was now a matter of life or death. So they had to rush me in through casualty and was put on all sorts of pipes. Before I knew it, I was unconscious.
All these incidents happened during the day, and at around 16h00, I gained consciousness. I was at ward Four-B where only Covid patients are admitted, and no visitors allowed. Man, hospitals environments are always bad especially when the whole night you hear the constant groaning of others fighting for their lives.
Even though Katutura Hospital is dilapidated and had to deal with mice running the ward and on our beds at night, at least the nurses at ward Four-B are friendly, helpful and always encouraging patients to be strong. Every morning during her rounds, one nurse will always come to me and say “Nekundi, you are a strong young man. You will win this and you will go back home to your family.” This has motivated me to stay positive during my two-days of admission at the hospital.
All glory be to God for it is due to his amazing grace that I am able to narrate my encounter with the deadly virus. Furthermore, I must mention and appreciate the support that I got from friends, colleagues, and family during my fight with Covid-19. I am grateful.
I am now home with a room full of lemons, ginger, honey, juices, vitamins, immune boosters, anaconda and scorpion ointments, and lots of fruits. Even though I am still very weak, I will make it. I just need more days to full recovery.
Lesson learnt: Regardless of who we are, our status in society, how much money or best medical aid we have, when Covid-19 strikes, only God can save us. Because not even the best doctors can.
NB: Covid-19 is real and deadly. Please get vaccinated, wear your mask, and stay safe.