Vanessa Joubert ,46, while in Groote Schuur Hospital.
Vanessa Joubert ,46, while in Groote Schuur Hospital.

Covid survivor celebrates after being discharged from hospital in time for her birthday

By Okuhle Hlati Time of article published Sep 9, 2021

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A CAPE Town Covid-19 survivor’s wish of celebrating her birthday with her loved ones yesterday became reality after she was discharged from Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH) eight days ago.

Vanessa Joubert , 46, was hospitalised for 52 days, of which 40 were spent on a ventilator because of severe Covid-19 infection.

The joyful survivor said she was happy to be informed she could spend her birthday yesterday at home.

“The doctors in the hospital promised me that they would ensure I would be ready to go home to spend my birthday with my family. I was ecstatic that I was discharged on September 1 as a Covid-19 survivor,” she said.

Mark Joubert, her husband of two and a half years, was also infected with the virus but only had mild symptoms.

“Vanessa was not as lucky then, and she got very sick at home and I took her to a Melomed Hospital. After being there for three days, she requested to be transferred to Groote Schuur Hospital. It’s not every day that someone asks to be moved from a private hospital to a public hospital, but she heard about the good work GSH has been doing with Covid-19 patients and she wanted to move,” recalled Mark.

Professor Richard van Zyl-Smit, one of Joubert’s doctors in ICU, said they were never sure that she was going to make it.

“As with many of our Covid-19 patients, it was touch and go at many stages of her stay in the ICU. It took several weeks before we allowed ourselves to get excited about her potentially being discharged from the ICU. It is always amazing to finally get to meet the actual person who you have looked after for so long when they finally are out of a coma, off the ventilator and able to talk.”

The Jouberts have since encouraged people to take the Covid-19 vaccine to save their lives, with the husband who was hesitant now vaccinated.

“To see how Vanessa suffered converted me to take the vaccine. My message is simple, take the vaccine, you don’t want to go through what Vanessa went through,” he said. | Cape Times

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