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'A positive mindset is essential,' says nurse who beat Covid-19

Cape Town nurse Brenda Joshua has recovered from Covid-19.
Cape Town nurse Brenda Joshua has recovered from Covid-19.
Image: Supplied

A sense of hope and faith pulled an asthmatic nurse out of the intensive care unit (ICU), where she was suffering with Covid-19 health complications.

Brenda Joshua, a nurse at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, spent three days in ICU and a total of 10 days in hospital battling her own case of Covid-19.

“The one thing I want to stress is that when you are weak there, and in your bed, whether you’re in hospital or at home, there is always hope,” said Joshua.

She initially felt ill and had shortness of breath. She immediately informed her supervisor and was sent to the staff screening and testing facility at the hospital, before quarantining at home while waiting for her test result. 

Two days later, she received news that she was positive. Her son also entered quarantine with her, as he was a close contact.

Her children were initially shocked, but quickly got all the relevant information from the provincial hotline. They were briefed on how to care for their mom and when to contact emergency services. 

“With a good support system from my children, it was fine for us as a family,” said Joshua.

A few days into her isolation, she started feeling worse and struggled with shortness of breath. Being a diagnosed asthmatic, she was concerned, so her son called for an ambulance. Joshua was transferred to a medical facility, where she was treated with high-flow oxygen and started her road to recovery.

The three days and nights in ICU were some of the scariest times of her life.

“Looking through the window and seeing others intubated really got to me. Wondering if I would see my family again, or whether that was the last goodbye when I greeted my son at home. Going through that time was really difficult,” she said.

“A positive mindset is essential to overcome this coronavirus. A high level of anxiety is not good for your overall health. Listen to the experts and confirmed facts.

“The front-line hero for me during my battle with Covid-19 was God. Faith and hope pulled me through.”

Joshua also had high praise for everyone involved in her recovery, from the nurses to the doctors - the entire multidisciplinary team. She thanked all the staff members for the support.

She added that returning to work after recovering has been a highlight for her. 


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