Nurses open up about the inescapable pain of Covid-19 at work ...

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Nurses open up about the inescapable pain of Covid-19 at work and at home

For many worn-out healthcare workers, the light at the end of the tunnel is the vaccine

Journalist

When you walk into Liesel Abrahams’s Eerste River home in Cape Town, a postgraduate diploma in nursing education certificate from the University of Stellenbosch greets you as it dangles from her front door.

“I’ve hung it here in my lounge where I can see it every day because it’s my focus point and motivation. I look at it and I still can’t believe how I’ve managed to pass this diploma given what’s been happening in my life in the past year, but by God’s grace I even got a distinction in one of my subjects.”

It was last year in June, and the 49-year-old mother of two and registered nurse was writing her mid-year exams when her father George Collins died suddenly after a heart attack. He later tested positive for Covid-19. A month later her youngest sister Felecia Barnard also succumbed to Covid-19 after she started to show symptoms on the day of their father’s funeral. It later emerged Abrahams and her husband Glen too had contracted the virus around the same time. Apart from hundreds of patients who died in her hospital, Abrahams also lost a total of nine close relatives, including aunts, cousins and a nephew between 2020 and this year...

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