COVID-19: The story of two survivors

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Tarentaal retirement village residents Martin and Sandra Colombick both contracted COVID-19 at the end of 2020. “They were very ill and, according to their doctor, their story is close to a miracle,” says Rand Aid social worker Ulricka Beukman.

We asked Sandra to share their harrowing yet inspirational experience to not only remind residents that the pandemic remains very real, but also as a beacon of hope that COVID-19 can be beaten.

PICTURED: Coronavirus warriors Martin and Sandra Colombick.

It all began on the last day of 2020.

My husband and I were diagnosed with that dreaded Coronavirus. After seven long weeks, in Linksfield Clinic and at Ron Smith Care Centre, and the blessings and prayers of family and friends, we are, at last, home safe, almost well and extremely blessed.

The one good thing about going through the COVID experience is that both my husband and I were in this together; however, we each had to fight our own COVID-war.

The human inner strength goes beyond limits. It encompasses all that is. Whilst I was in ICU, I could not fight this war anymore, all I remember is saying to the doctors and front line workers that they must leave me, be, “LET ME GO!”

They did not and whilst, at the time, I thought they were being cruel, they pushed and shoved and this motivated me to write down these feelings in ICU:

The lifesavers. Big ones, small ones, all so different yet the same,

Calling, helping, saying my name.

Darkness, light, never bright.

In bed, in ICU there is no light.

Please let me go so no more hell,

No, they say, it’s not for us to tell.

It’s for you the patient to fight this thing,

you will come back strong, let the life

bell ring.

Folks, when that happened, I positively used my inner strength and prayed as I had never prayed before. It was then that the doctors brought me down to the general COVID ward where my husband was. He was desperately ill and yet once my bed was placed next to his, life started to happen. We turned the corner. I had time to think of our family and friends and, of course, the residents here… hoping that everyone would adhere to the COVID protocols: masks, washing hands, social distancing, etc.

Believe me, one does not want to go through the anxiety and the symptoms of COVID.

The love and care we have experienced during this time have given us so much to be thankful for. Thanks to you all who have prayed and sent heart-warming messages to us.

You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.

A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not on the branch, but on its wings. Always believe in yourself.

May all your endeavours meet with success.

Martin & Sandra Colombick

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