South Africans have taken to social media to thank Mavis Mahlakoane, a nurse from Milpark Hospital who attended to late Jackson Mthembu – for representing healthcare workers well.
Mahlakoane said Mthembu’s wife, Thembi Mthembu, asked her to detail her husband’s final moments, to give closure to those who could not be by his side.
According to Mahlakoane, Mthembu was taken to the hospital on Tuesday evening and she was assigned to him on Wednesday.
Mahlakoane described Mthembu as a humble and kind man, who was a family man.
She said: “I arrived and greeted him and then introduced myself. What a calm soul. We didn’t nurse a ‘Do you know who I am person?’. Mr Mthembu was kind.
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“I asked him: ‘What can we do for you? How do you like your breakfast and lunch?’
“He said ‘no, my wife will bring me food, don’t worry’. I took the phone and called sis’ Thembi, she was also very calm. She brought him fruit salad, that’s what he asked for. He also asked for cheese.
“When they left, Mr Mthembu said to me: ‘I’m okay now, my wife brought me the best salad ever.’
“That day we had a conversation with Mr Mthembu, it was like we knew each other for a long time. He called me and opened his phone and said to me: ‘I want to show you something’. He opened his videos and showed me [Police Minister] Bheki Cele dancing. He said to me: ‘You see this one, I want to show him how to dance when I get out of here, not what he’s doing.’
“On the third day I bonded with Mr Mthembu. He said to me: ‘Thank you very much for what you’re doing for the nation.’
“Around 5pm when I was preparing his medicine for 6pm he asked for his phone and said: “I want to call my true friend. There’s one one who understands me better and I’m so worried because he’s going to be so disappointed.
“Cyril is the man who understands me better than anyone, that’s the man who knows me. At 6:45pm, I told him I was leaving. He told me: ‘Drive safely. Thank you. You prayed with me and my wife earlier on, can you please pray for me.
“On Thursday I was allocated to another patient. I just went to greet him and he said ‘sister Mavis, things are hard today. This oxygen is so cold.’ I made him a cup of Rooibos tea. Then asked for his phone and said: ‘Cyril will be very disappointed’.”
Mthembu died on Thursday from Covid-19 complications at the age of 63.
He was laid to rest at his home in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga on Sunday.
Mthembu was honoured with an Official Funeral Category 1.