On the 26th of June 2007 at 9:30 a.m. we had an emergency delivery.
We admitted a lady, 20 years of age, who was brought in to us by car through her family members. They had tried to bring her to Sundumbili Clinic and later to Mandeni Clinic, but they were sent away from there because there was a national strike of nurses on the go and they refused to help her no matter how urgently she needed help. As she arrived here the birth was really imminent. It has always been our policy that we would send nobody away who needs our help and who we are able to help. The doctor of Blessed Gerard's Hospice, the Sister on duty, who is a midwife as well and a therapeutic counsellor and caregiver immediately came to her aid.
The mother gave birth to a beautiful baby girl at 9:45 a.m. and she named her Nothando (Zulu for "the loving one"). Nothando weighed 3.4 kg.
Unfortunately many people lost their lives during the nurses strike because the nurses were forced into refusing their service delivery and most government hospitals had to close down. In our district Hospital in Stanger the nurses walked out of the hospital - leaving babies unattended in incubators - and the doctors were left alone with the patients and they had to nurse and feed and bathe them - maybe quite an eye-opening exercise of holistic care. When Stanger Hospital was forced to close down the doctors phoned us from their private cell phones and urged us to accept those patients who they could not discharge home and although we had primarily been asked to accept just a few of them, but then a few more and another few and so on and our wards were soon filled to capacity (thank God our inpatient unit being the largest inpatient unit of any hospice in South Africa has 40 beds!) with very sick patients who nobody else was prepared to look after but us. We are proud that we could help out and many of the patients could later be discharged home, having improved under our care and only a few were transferred back to Stanger Hospital weeks later when the strike had been over.
That explains in another way what we mean with our slogan "Blessed Gerard's Hospice - We care, no matter what..."
Sthembile Masuku and Fr. Gerard
This page is part of the Newsletter No. 27 of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard
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This page was last updated on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 12:50:25