Medical manager, nurse die in Western Cape

By Francesca Villette Time of article published May 25, 2020

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Cape Town – Described as true professionals with a love for people, tributes have poured in for the latest two health-care workers to die in the province.

Dr Paul Ruschenbaum, the medical manager for the Mossel Bay sub-district, and Nurse Myrtle Julius, also fondly known as "Aunty Moemfie", died after years of service to the medical field.

Ruschenbaum’s death was not Covid-19-related, provincial Health Department spokesperson Mark van der Heever said, while results from Julius's post-mortem were still outstanding.

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said she first met Ruschenbaum in Oudtshoorn where he was with his family.

“I cannot imagine the pain they are going through with his passing. I pray for their comfort. The country is reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic. What a loving and gentle soul. His love for his

family touched me the most,” Mbombo said.

A memorial service for Ruschenbaum was held in Mossel Bay yesterday.

Dr Paul Ruschenbaum, the medical manager for the Mossel Bay sub-district. Picture: Facebook

Health Department head Dr Keith Cloete said: “Paul’s passing came as a shock to all his colleagues across the department. He will be remembered fondly by everyone for his kindness, thoughtfulness and truly gentle ways.

“I pay tribute to him as a true servant of the public, and for his selfless service to the people of Oudtshoorn, Mossel Bay, the Garden Route and Central Karoo.”

Julius worked at Melomed Bellville for 13 years.

Dr Delano Rhode, a paediatric

pulmonologist at the hospital, remembered Julius as a courageous

woman who loved and lived for her profession. He said he first met her in 2011.

“She was the definition of what it means to be a nurse. She gave her all to her career. The unit will miss her,” Rhode said.

Hospital manager James van Vught said that while diminutive in size, Julius’s personality was as big as her heart for the paediatric patients that she nursed.

“Nurse Julius, also fondly known as ‘Aunty Moemfie’, was undoubtedly one of the ‘old guard’, a nurse who became one because she felt the calling of the profession.

“After eight years in full-time employment at Melomed Bellville, she stayed for another five years as a contract employee.

“Her commitment was unblemished – we knew we could call her to come and work when someone called in sick.

“Undoubtedly she will be missed by the staff, doctors as well as the patients and their families,” Van Vught said.

Covid-19 has claimed the lives of three nurses in the Western Cape.

Anncha Kepkey, the assistant

manager at the trauma unit at Tygerberg Hospital; Ntombizakithi

Ngidi, who worked at Tygerberg

Hospital; and Petronella “Aunty Nellie” Benjamin, all succumbed to the disease.

Cape Times

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