The couple from Hartswater in the Northern Cape who contracted the coronavirus have recovered. Their four teenage daughters in the meantime too have tested negative for the virus.
Today is the first day in nearly a month that Berna Kruger (43) has left her house.
Twenty-six days of total isolation began when Berna and her husband, Henk (46), a pastor of the Light the World Ministries, contracted Covid-19 and went into quarantine at home.
But today a joyful Berna announces: “Our whole family is healthy. I have peace in my heart!”
The couple contracted the virus after attending a big church rally in Bloemfontein on 10 and 11 March.
They were tested on Friday 20 March after it had become known that one of five foreigners who addressed the event had contracted Covid-19.
Three other people from the Hartswater area – two employees and a friend of the couple – tested positive after being in direct contact with the couple.
When YOU first interviewed Berna, shortly after she tested positive, there were fears that their daughters - Berné (17), Carla (16), Jané (14) and Marti (12) – might also have become infected, but in the meantime the girls have all tested negative.
The first question that begs is how Henk was able to survive surrounded by so much estrogen at home.
Berna laughs: “We have three male dogs, which at least creates a bit of balance!”
But Berna becomes serious when asked about the difficult and challenging time the family have been through.
“Everyone in the house showed symptoms. Our daughters also had high fever, coughs and aching bodies. I was convinced they’d also test positive. In fact I told our doctor it wasn’t necessary to test them. But the first test was negative and later the second one too. It turned out they had ordinary flu. I’ve seen many miracles in my life and this was one of them.”
Berna and Henk were both very sick. Berna struggled with fatigue and Henk with headache and fatigue. “It [feeling sick]went on for literally 14 days continuously, for both of us.”
Although Berna thought her symptoms at times were similar to her past experience with normal flu, the spouses each went through one day when they felt a lot worse.
“Henk felt very tight-chested on one night. And one night I faced death, but that was okay with me because I knew when I open my eyes I would be in heaven, and my whole family would be there with me. But I’m grateful that God has spared my life, I know my children would’ve missed me a lot and that I should be here for them on earth.”
Berna says they experienced some stigmatisation in the community after revealing they’d tested positive. She also felt guilty about having unwittingly infected other people in their area.
“You don’t have to feel guilty about it, but it’s inevitable once you know it’s happened.”
Berna tells us that the past 26 days turned out to be a “wonderful time” spent with her husband and children enduring the lockdown with the rest of the country. It remains in place until Thursday 30 April.
“It’s time spent with my family at the feet of the Lord.”
For the couple’s girls, now in Grades 11, 10, 8 and 6 respectively, home schooling is the order of the day.
“I think if there’s anything they’re missing, it’s just to be able to go cycling and running. They all love exercising – for the moment we’re settling for doing the ‘garden route’ around the manse!
“We’re grateful for the people who helped and supported us. We could feel the effect of their prayers. I’m standing by what I said before: ‘Fear hell instead’. Even though I was attacked for it, I’m okay with that, because I believe God doesn’t go away just because you don’t believe in him. And the same applies for hell.
“I can cope with the harsh attacks because I know that when you keep your eye on Jesus, he will take away all fear. You find everything with Him: your dreams, your safety and your life. I’m not afraid, but I know things won’t get easier for anyone in the country. People should trust in Him.
“Respect our government as is written in Romans 13 verse 1. Listen to our president. Please donate money and help those people the Lord guides you to help.”