Nosipho Nkantini held her six-month-old premature baby, Oyena, for the first time after her month-long battle with Covid-19 last week.
Oyena was delivered by emergency C-section at only 25 weeks old on Thursday December 17 – all this while his mother was unconscious and on a ventilator at N1 City Hospital in Goodwood.
The 40-year-old Eerste River resident said she believed her son had been born too early to survive and had died until hospital staff called her last week to “see his progress”.
Ms Nkantini had to complete her isolation period before she could visit her little boy in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the hospital.
She said she could not hold back the tears when hospital staff showed her the little boy last week Monday, January 4.
Fortunately he tested negative for the virus.
“When they showed me my baby, I was crying because I was so happy, I just couldn’t believe it. He is alive,” she said.
Ms Nkatini, who is a professional nurse in the public sector, showed symptoms of the virus in early December. After a visit to her general practitioner, she was prescribed antibiotics for the flu and told she was at high risk because she is a diabetic.
She then went for a pregnancy check-up and suddenly felt short of breath. Doctors did a Covid-19 test which came back negative.
A second test came back positive and she was transferred to N1 City hospital.
“I was in the hospital’s red zone, and from then I can’t remember anything until I woke up days later and was told that my baby was in intensive care which traumatised me even further,” she said.
Ms Nkitini was then sent home to fully recover and was under the impression that her son had died until the hospital contacted her.
“I had previously lost a 28-week-old baby and I could not imagine going through it again,” she said.
Ms Nkitini encouraged the public to follow the Covid-19 protocols and stay safe.
“This virus moves so fast, and it can have devastating effects. By the time someone in the family becomes sick, often the virus has already infected their loved ones and the people around them. Covid-19 is real, and we must protect each other by following all the precautions.”