A 90-year-old East London man has recovered from Covid-19 — and gives full credit to the nurses who cared for him during his ordeal.
Kenneth Murdoch has lived happily at Fairlands Home for the Aged for more than 20 years, but never thought his later years would be upended by a pandemic.
Speaking to DispatchLIVE on Thursday, he said he tested at the beginning of June and the results came back positive.
He isolated in one of the wards at Fairlands and tested again on June 23, and on Tuesday he got the news he had been waiting for. He was negative.
He said his two weeks in isolation felt like years, and he was grateful to be able to mix with friends and family again.
“One day I felt very, very tired, I felt like sleeping. They took my blood pressure and everything. All I did was sleep. I was so very weak but the nursing care has been excellent,” Murdoch said. “If it was not for the caring nurses I would not be sitting here. They were amazing. Every time I needed something they were there. I am so grateful to be living here.”
He said he prayed often during isolation.
“I said, ‘Please Lord help me, I don’t want to die now.’ I kept on praying for my family. I am looking forward to getting back to normal again one of these days.”
His son, Andrew Murdoch, said the family had feared the worst, given that the elderly had been identified as among the most vulnerable groups when it came to Covid-19.
He had not been able to see his father yet as he lives in Johannesburg and has not been able to travel.
Fairlands matron Cathy Smith was not sure how Murdoch contracted the virus but suspected it “might be from being outside or from a staff member”.
Smith said there were 104 elderly residents at the facility.
While Murdoch was in isolation, there was one other person who was positive for Covid-19 and another who was still awaiting test results.
Four nurses took care of Murdoch, said Smith.
“In the section I have four carers. They rotated day and night, they slept here. They have been away from their families. It was a big sacrifice from them,” Smith said. “I can’t say thank you enough to the staff. What is of utmost importance is we prayed together,” she said.
Asked what could have been the secret to the recovery of his father, Andrew said: “Good nursing I suppose — they did a great job.”
One of Murdoch’s nurses, Yolisa Luvuno, said: “It was easy caring for him because he does what he is asked to do. We sacrificed being without our families and stayed here.”