Pauline back at work after Covid-19 battle

Pauline Ruiters, from Mitchell's Plain, has worked at Tygerberg Hospital for 13 years.

Pauline Ruiters considers herself blessed after she was flooded with daily messages of encouragement and hope while undergoing treatment for Covid-19.

After being ventilated for six days with severe Covid-19 symptoms, Pauline has recovered and returned to her job as an accounts clerk at Tygerberg Hospital on Wednesday June 10.

“It’s really great to be back. I missed being around people, so it is nice to be part of the team again,” says Pauline, from Mitchell’s Plain. She has worked at Tygerberg Hospital for 13 years.

Pauline says she had a fever with a temperature of 38.8°C, a tight chest, fatigue, and loss of appetite. “After my chest got so tight, I had to go to the hospital. I was put on oxygen and antibiotic drip.”

Pauline underwent a Covid-19 test on Thursday May 7 and received the result four days later. Pauline says she was overcome with fear and when she received an SMS to inform her of her positive result she was already hospitalised. With mixed emotions it took a while for her to come to her senses, she says.

“One day I’d tell myself I’m going to be okay and the next I would get completely overwhelmed and sad.”

Pauline is grateful for her three sons whom she describes as her support system. “My eldest son would send me voice notes and videos of my grandchildren, and this is what helped me to not give up. My friends and family would phone and send voice notes. My colleagues too were amazing, and not a day went by that they didn’t send a message of encouragement and hope. I would really like to thank everyone that prayed, phoned, and who sent WhatsApp messages. It got me through a very difficult time in my life,” says Pauline.

She says she realised that for her to fight this virus she had to be mentally, spiritually and physically strong. “And it was only through God’s grace and lots of prayer that brought me through this.”