Groote Schuur Hospital nurse receives Covid-19 treatment in ward where she works | Western Cape Government


Groote Schuur Hospital nurse receives Covid-19 treatment in ward where she works

20 June 2020

On 18 June Anita Richards, who has been a positive Covid-19 patient, was discharged from ward C13 at Groote Schuur Hospital. Sister Richards has been a registered nurse for 35 years at the hospital and has been a nurse for 20 years of this time in ward C13 at Groote Schuur Hospital. It was thus significant that medical staff had to care for her in her own ward while she had Covid-19. Ward C13 is a 15-bedded high care Covid-19 ward at the hospital.

Sister Richards was diagnosed with Covid-19 on 3 June 2020. She was admitted to the hospital and was then cared for by her fellow colleagues in C13 after being moved from another ward. She was on the new high flow oxygen on the machines in the ward for 10 days. She was on the machine for 16 hours and 47 minutes for all 10 days.

Two of the staff members who played an important role in caring for Sister Richards is community service nurse, Tasneem Taliep and enrolled nurse, Willem Spogter. Mr Spogter has worked with Sister Richards in the ward for the past six years. He has been a nurse for 36 years. It was a very emotional time for staff to care for a colleague. “Sister Richards was like a mentor to me, when I came into C13 she was the one who showed me things worked in the ward. Now to be the one to give her injections and care for her has not been easy,” he says. 

Ms Taliep who has been at Groote Schuur Hospital since February 2020 had similar emotions. “Sister Richards is a true mentor to me, and it was a roller coaster caring for her. There were days when we left and thought we would not see her alive tomorrow. In this ward, we have seen people pass on, but we are so grateful that Sister Richards survived and is able to go home today,” she says.

Sister Richards, who lives in Observatory, is appreciative of her colleagues who cared for her. “Your compassion, optimism and kindness do not go unnoticed, because of you we live in a happier healthier world. 

She is from Springbok and has no immediate family in Cape Town. Her family during this time was the staff in C13 and other nursing colleagues who regularly have visited and showed support during this difficult time. “It was an emotional journey, but my colleagues here made things easier. Sister Richards shares the following message to the community. “People should realise that Covid-19 can make you really sick and it is important to wear your mask and keep your social distancing, as these could save your life”.

Media Enquiries: 

Alaric Jacobs
Communications Officer
Groote Schuur Hospital
Cell - 083 412 5608