Smangaliso MkhwanaziI spent 18 days in Ngwelezane Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal fighting Covid-19. “I didn’t allow Covid to rule my mind,” says Smangaliso.

My name is Smangaliso Mkhwanazi. I was admitted to Empangeni Life Hospital on 29 June, but four days later, my family decided to move me to Ngwelezane Hospital. My condition had worsened & my family believed government hospital staff were better trained to deal with COVID.

I am asthmatic and I needed to be in the intensive care unit at Ngwelezane for a day and high care for the rest of the days. After that, I was transferred to the general ward. Our slogan as Covid patients was “We are guerrillas and we are waiting for Covid.” We looked after each other. The unity we had made us strong and all of us survived. We understood that we were in the battlefield as patients and we needed each other for survival. We ate together. There was no compromise on eating. We needed food to have strength to fight Covid-19. We shared fruits because we understood that we needed vitamins. Every one was assigned to look after somebody in our ward. I was on 100% oxygen for 10 days. I spent 18 days in hospital fighting for my life.

While in hospital, I made sure I still provided my sisters in Durban with money to buy food. I paid my child’s school fees. I attended my lectures on zoom on Mondays. I wrote my test for UKZN and I passed it in hospital fighting COVID at the same time.

I didn’t allow COVID to rule my mind. Let’s fight COVID, We can win together.