'The mental strength required to survive this is huge' - Covid-19 survivor shares his journey

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  • A man tells of his Covid-19 journey, which required a great deal of mental strength.
  • Ramohemi Motshegoa describes his experience of excruciating pain on the 8th day of his journey.
  • Motshegoa fought the virus in isolation at home with the support of his family. 

A Covid-19 survivor who has shared his journey of recovery has emphasised the importance of the mental strength required to survive the virus that has currently claimed more than 15 000 lives in South Africa.

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"The mental strength required to survive this is huge, and fortunately I am strong mentally and that gave motivation to my wife and daughter, that if papa looks like this we can survive, [because] he is not as bad as we think he is," Ramohemi Motshegoa says.

Motshegoa was speaking at a virtual briefing by the Gauteng government titled "Surviving Covid-19: The journey of defeating Covid-19".

Although Motshegoa was putting on a brave face for his family while fighting the virus at home in isolation, he knew - in his words - that he was feeling one of the worst experiences that he had ever had in his life.

He recalled during his recovery how he would have to change pyjamas several times in one night.

"On the fifth day of my journey, I began the Panado programme, because I was feeling very cold on my back from the neck downwards.

"It got worse. Every night I would change pyjamas four to five times because they were wet, as if they were coming from the bucket of water or something," he explained.

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He slowly felt he was beginning to recover, but on the eighth day of his journey, he questioned whether he could truly survive the virus.

"[That] is when I felt like this is it, I am about to die.

"I felt some very painful experience around my kidneys and I thought this is what they mean when they say, once your kidneys collapse you are dead. Fortunately I didn't, but the pain I felt was extreme and bad," he said.

Motshegoa faced this virus with the support of his immediate family, but decided to keep his diagnosis private from everyone else.

"I also decided that no one else should know that I am ill. As I am the pillar of strength of my family, it was going to create problems for everyone. The reaction I anticipated would be that everyone would be devastated. We kept it between ourselves until I got better," he added.

Motshegoa has since survived his ordeal and, although his family has had to make adjustments, he is happy to be alive.

"I finally got cured. Right now my family and I are living on multivitamins.

"I am okay now, I'm alive and kicking, working from home." 

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