A Beacon Valley grandfather who spent 31 days in hospital, was discharged with the “title” of Covid-19 patient with the longest stay at Mitchell’s Plain District hospital.
Willem Williams was admitted on July 23 and discharged on Monday August 24, having celebrated his 62nd birthday in the hospital a week before, on Monday August 17.
A week before being admitted to hospital Mr Williams was tested for the virus because he had had a bit of a cough and was told to return home – to quarantine.
He had attended an open-air church service in his road, on the evening of Tuesday July 21 but felt sick the next day.
By the following day he was nauseous, shaking and battling to breathe, when his family called for an ambulance.
Mr Williams said every time he thought he would not make it, he prayed that God would keep him strong.
He had his bible at his bedside table and after being in hospital for two weeks he was able to interact with other patients, whom he encouraged to remain hopeful.
“I was very weak,” he said.
He told the other patients not to give up and that “hulle moet vas hou aan die Here. Hy is die enigste uitweg”.
Mr Williams has high blood pressure and a heart condition, with a stent and a pacemaker.
His wife Una said despite having these health conditions, he walked very fast and would clean the house. “He did everything for us,” she said.
When the ambulance fetched him, she said, he left her, their daughter and granddaughter, with whom he lives, in tears.
She added that she had chosen not to visit him because she was afraid and did not want to bring down his morale.
His daughter and other family members would visit him, to take any special requests and or things he needed.
“He went alone to hospital and it wasn’t nice for us to see him leave like that.
“Dit was a vermissing in die huis,” she said.
Ms Williams said she would phone him three times a day but there were times when he was too weak to talk. “Now he is fully recovered and we are so glad to have him home,” she said.
“We want to thank the hospital staff, the nurses, the doctors and everyone who helped him “We appreciate everything they did for him. They did a good job. The Lord must bless them,” she said.
Ms Williams also thanked their Muslim neighbours for their du’ah, fellow worshippers at the Vrye Gereformeerde Kerk (United Reformed Church) and all those who prayed for his speedy recovery.
Western Cape Health spokesperson for the Klipfontein/ Mitchell’s Plain substructure Monique Johnstone said Mr Williams was excited to see his family after such a long time in hospital.