Originally published in Herald Live
Despite suffering from cancer, hypertension, diabetes and asthma between the two of them, an elderly Motherwell couple say their faith in God and support from their loved ones was how they survived Covid-19.
Both feel blessed to be alive after falling critically ill with the virus.
Mandi, 86, and his wife Xoliswa Daniso, 71, are now at home recovering after spending weeks at Mercantile Hospital in July.
Their daughter, Linda Daniso Hoza, said her parents may have contracted the virus after one of her nephews — who lives with them — tested positive in May.
“But we cannot be certain that our parents got it from him because he tested and finished his 14 days’ isolation and my parents were tested and their results came back negative, so we relaxed.
“Then my mom started feeling ill early in July and presented several symptoms and was just unwell.
“Then I took them and had them admitted because my dad was also feeling weak,” Hoza said.
She said they subsequently tested positive, but Mandi was discharged and went home to recover in Motherwell while Xoliswa remained in high care and was put on a ventilator at one point.
“Both my parents have illnesses — my dad has prostate cancer and hypertension and my mom is diabetic and asthmatic, but they survived,” she said.
Hoza said after her parents, five more people in the family tested positive, including two of her siblings, but they were all on their way to recovery.
Mandi said he would not forget how debilitating the treatment was and how crippling the effects of the virus were on his body.
He said he had relapsed after being discharged and was also put on a ventilator but managed to pull through.
“Only God made the way, I have Him to thank.
“But I have to mention our doctor, Dr Ngcakani, a young praying woman who understands that medicine alone sometimes is not enough and that you need prayer and faith.
“May God bless her so that she may continue the wonderful work she is doing,” Mandi said.
He said the most stressful part of his journey was not being able to be with his wife and having to rely on hospital staff for updates on her prognosis.
Xoliswa said she wanted to warn people, especially the elderly with underlying illnesses, to be careful because the virus came with pain.
“You literally lose your breath and have difficulty breathing — the pain is unbearable and real.
“People must just stay at home.
“Look at us, we never went anywhere but somehow we caught it. Everyone must follow the rules and just keep safe,” Xoliswa said.
She said the only thing she was struggling with was walking and she had to be careful not to over-exert herself.
“We want to thank our children for their support and prayers, as well as the medical staff at Mercantile for their care.”