Anncha Kepkey's family calls for seriousness on Covid-19 as nurse is laid to rest

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published May 29, 2020

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Cape Town - A Tygerberg Hospital nurse who died after contracting Covid-19 was laid to rest on Wednesday.

Wife and mother of two Anncha Kepkey, 53 from Parow Valley was the second nurse at the hospital to have died from the virus.

Her funeral coincided with the provincial Health Department saying that since the start of the pandemic, 1188 health workers had been infected across both the public and private sector. It said there were “595 recoveries and eight deaths, with 585 cases active”.

Kepkey died last week at Melomed Hospital in Bellville.

Kepkey dedicated years of working at Tygerberg Hospital after starting out as a professional nurse in the Trauma Unit in 1990.

She was promoted to operational manager in 2007, and again in April this year to assistant manager for trauma emergency services.

Masks with Kepkey’s smiling face printed on them were handed out to all and her uniform hung proudly inside the hall where the service was held.

Anncha's husband and family mourn her death at her burial. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Anncha's husband and family mourn her death at her burial. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Anncha Kepkey, from Parow, the assistant manager at the trauma unit at Tygerberg Hospital, was laid to rest on Wednesday. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Anncha Kepkey was laid to rest at the Durbanville Memorial Park a week after she passed away from Covid-19. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Anncha Kepkey was laid to rest at the Durbanville Memorial Park a week after she passed away from Covid-19. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Anncha's husband and family mourn her death at her burial. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Her family is now using this opportunity to urge the public to take the pandemic more seriously, calling this “her new profession”.

Her husband, William Kepkey said: “This was a remarkable lady. I think a lot of these people who were close to her are now extra careful. Our hearts are broken, but the mere fact that if we can save five people’s lives... then she has done her duty.”

He added: “This is serious. This is not a joke. My wife died in the line of duty but her new career is to make you guys aware in order to save more lives. Our family is shattered; within three weeks’ time, our first grandchild is going to be born. She is not able to see her grandchild.”

He applauded and conveyed his gratitude to all nursing staff who continued to work under such trying circumstances. The nurses’ pledge was recited at her gravesite by nurses who had worked alongside Kepkey. 

* Additional reporting by Mwangi Githahu.

Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Anncha Kepkey was laid to rest at the Durbanville Memorial Park a week after she passed away from Covid-19. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Anncha Kepkey was laid to rest at the Durbanville Memorial Park a week after she passed away from Covid-19. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Anncha Kepkey was laid to rest at the Durbanville Memorial Park a week after she passed away from Covid-19. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
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