Brackengate heroes reflects on lives saved, third wave on 1st birthday
Yesterday, one year ago, the Brackengate Hospital of Hope opened its doors to provide critical life-saving healthcare to COVID-19 patients in the city.
Healthcare workers have saved more than 3 000 lives in the past year and CEO Maria Brink has thanked her team for their selfless service.
“Looking back 18 months ago, none of us would have believed what lay ahead of us. No one could have foreseen a disease that would bring humanity worldwide to a collective standstill. That would cost us so many lives. Even if it was a friend of a friend, an extended family member, someone who worked in your facility, we can sadly all say that we knew someone who died of COVID-19. Frontline workers and health management have worked tirelessly since the very beginning to attempt to cope with the devastation caused by COVID. Tirelessly. It means with great effort and energy. It means working overtime. It means working even when you're tired. It means carrying on when you feel like you can't. It means giving of yourself when you have nothing left to give. Stan Lee said: ‘That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.’”
A typical day at the facility for a healthcare worker starts with entering the changing room, where staff members are equipped with the necessary PPE before entering the wards, which are high-risk areas where patients are treated.
Since 20 July 2020, the facility has recorded 4 346 admissions. Of that number, 3 390 people have recovered, while 533 were transferred to tertiary institutions for further care. Sadly, while healthcare workers strive to save every life, the facility recorded 423 deaths. The team has also lost three nursing staff. members to the pandemic.
“It's for this reason that I can truly say I work with superheroes every day. Every staff member at Brackengate, every person I sit in a meeting with, every frontline or administrative person in the greater Department of Health - each one of them is a superhero. Because they help others, tirelessly. Often in spite of their own personal needs. Giving up time with their families. Getting up early, going to bed late. Traveling in difficult circumstances. To make sure the job gets done properly,” says the CEO, Maria Brink.
The CEO adds the facility’s birthday is a bittersweet moment as the team reflects on the lives saved and those who have passed on.
“I know in my heart, that each patient that came through this facility experienced care, compassion and love. I am extremely proud of every individual that has played their part in making our patients feel at home for their time here. I am overwhelmed each day as we are pushing through the third wave at the team spirit, the selflessness and the comradery in the Brackengate staff. To see them working together like a well-oiled machine for the greater good of each patient and even each other; it is sight that touches me deeply. I will forever be grateful for being able to be in a position to be a part of this team.”
“Opening the Brackengate Hospital of Hope played an important role in Western Cape Government Health’s strategy to ensure sufficient capacity to care for COVID-19 patients who needed hospitalisation. I want to thank everyone who worked behind the scenes to open and maintain this facility, as well as our healthcare workers for their dedication, passion, and commitment in taking care of our COVID-19 patients. I want to urge all residents to help our healthcare workers by flattening the curve. Please continue to wear your masks, to maintain a distance from others, and to avoid gatherings. We must work together to protect our vulnerable citizens and our healthcare system,” says Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo.
By Monday, 19 July 2021 at 10:00, the facility had 263 patients (at 78% capacity). The facility has a bed capacity for 366 patients. As we continue to the battle against the virus, we call on the public to help us save lives. You can help us to make a difference by following COVID-19 safety regulations. We can avoid a transmission chain from setting in by protecting our air space.
- Avoid all large gatherings;
- Avoid any social gatherings where possible;
- If you need to go out to do activities such as shopping, always wear your mask and keep it short;
- If you must meet, keep it outdoors, small and short;
- When indoors, dress warmly and ensure the windows are open so your space is well ventilated with fresh air;
- If sick, stay home;
Western Cape Government Health wishes to thank all our healthcare heroes at the Hospital of Hope, who have risked their lives to protect and heal others during the COVID-19 pandemic.