COVID-19 survivor: ‘Don’t land up on a ventilator like me’

Two-time COVID-19 survivor urges South Africans to get vaccinated.
Western. Cape adjusts rules for hospital visits after exiting the fourth wave. (Photo: Freepik)
Written by Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

As COVID-19 cases continue to soar in South Africa, a two-time survivor has urged his fellow citizens to get vaccinated as soon as possible. This will prevent severe symptoms, possible hospitalisation and even death.

The country recorded another 15 424 new cases on Tuesday evening bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases to 3 332 008. At least 90 488 people have sadly succumbed to the virus.

Fhulufhelo Magosha survived COVID-19 twice this year. The 37-year-old fell sick the first time before being jabbed, and got infected for a second time after being vaccinated. He believes the jab helped him overcome the virus with ease, unlike the first infection.

Magosha was admitted to the Mediclinic Muelmed private hospital in Pretoria in January. He couldn’t breathe on his own and was placed on a ventilator for several days. He was discharged a week later.

Second time ‘much better’

He developed symptoms once again in October, but this time, got off much lighter. Magosha had a slight fever and experienced fatigue and headaches which lasted for a few days. He got by using home remedies and over-the-counter medication. He’s adamant the jab got him through the second time.

“The second time wasn’t as bad since it felt like normal flue. I believe this might be due to the COVID-19 jab I received. I never experienced any serious symptoms,” said Magosha.

Pretoria-based Magosha said that before testing positive for COVID-19, he didn’t believe that the virus actually existed. However, this all changed when he landed in hospital unable to breathe.

“This virus is very much real and you can actually die. I’m just glad I’m able to share my story with other people and remind them how important it is to get vaccinated,” said the primary school teacher.

Why vaccines are important

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) states that a vaccination is a safe and simple way to strengthen the immune system. Resistance is built against disease-causing germs. Once vaccinated, an individual will have protection against the specific harmful disease.

Safe and effective vaccines are game-changing tools, but the World Health Organization (WHO) said people still have a huge part to play. We must continue wearing masks, washing our hands, practise social distancing and avoid large crowds.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 3.3 million people this year. This makes it one of the most dreaded illnesses alongside HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis (TB).

“More than 3.3 million people have lost their lives to COVID-19 this year. This accounts for more deaths than HIV, malaria and TB combined in 2021. And still, COVID-19 continues to claim around 50 000 lives every week. This excludes unreported deaths and the millions of excess deaths caused by disruptions to essential health services,” he said.

Africa hit hard

Ghebreyesus further stated that Africa is experiencing a major spike in infection, largely driven by the Omicron variant.

“Just a month ago, Africa was reporting its lowest number of cases in 18 months. Last week, the continent reported the fourth-highest number of cases in a single week. The Omicron variant is spreading significantly faster than the Delta variant. It is more likely that people who have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19, could be infected or reinfected,” he added.

Ghebreyesus expressed concerns about the potential spike in cases over the festive period.

“The increased interaction during this period will lead to more cases, overwhelmed health systems and more deaths. We are all sick of this pandemic. All of us want to get back to normal.” – Health-e News 

About the author

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho is citizen journalist who is based in the Vhembe District of Limpopo province. He joined OurHealth in 2015 and his interests lie in investigative journalism and reporting the untold stories of disadvantaged rural communities. Ndivhuwo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies from the University of Venda and he is currently a registered student with UNISA.

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