It was no small feat when Covid-19 patient Joseph Mbebe (57) from Langenhovenpark left the Life Rosepark Hospital after 234 days in hospital.
“We were so glad to have him back home,” said his wife, Matshabalala Mbebe.
He was discharged on Friday, 19 February.
“It was a very hectic seven months, especially at times when I couldn’t visit him due to Covid-19 restrictions.
“I took time off from work this week to care for him, but he is well on his way to recovery,” she said.
Joseph, who is self-employed, was admitted to hospital on the evening of 30 June last year. He was extremely ill and diagnosed with Covid-19 pneumonia.
At first he was admitted to the general Covid-19 ward, but shortly after admission he had complications and multiple organ failure with septicaemia.
He was moved to the hospital’s multiple intensive care unit, where he was put on a ventilator on 3 July.
Dr Sanelle Bosch, one of his treating physicians, said Joseph was supported with ventilation, dialysis and several other forms of life support.
“He showed initial improvement with treatment, but fell back several times and developed fulminant septicaemia,” said Bosch.
“Despite the setbacks sustained, all the physicians involved with his supportive treatment never gave up on him recovering.”
Finally, after 221 days of uninterrupted ventilated support, he was able to be discharged from the hospital back to his family.
Hannika Struwig, marketing and communications manager at Life Rosepark, said this was an uplifting story while Covid-19 still loomed at the front door.
“The mortality rate of Covid-19 pneumonia patients requiring ventilation is above 60%. This means his recovery is remarkable. It is believed that he might be one of the longest surviving ventilated Covid-19 patients in the world.”
The whole team responsible for his treatment gathered around and wished Joseph well when he was discharged.
The hospital presented him with a rose bush and asked him to plant it in his garden in remembrance of the miracle of his recovery and, as it grows, to celebrate his life’s journey ahead.
Joseph is now recovering well at home.
“He is becoming stronger every day,” said Matshabalala.
“It is also really good to have him home and help him along his road to recovery.”
Good wishes have poured in from the Free State Department of Health.
Elke de Witt, communications director, said they were proud to have healthcare partners in the private sector so dedicated to saving the lives of Free State citizens.
“The dedication and care which Mbebe received at the Life Rosepark Hospital surely contributed to him being able to return to his loved ones,” said De Witt.
“As the Department of Health, we wish to thank all healthcare workers who have spent many hours to care for our patients and who’s commitment in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic is admirable.”