Grateful for gift of life after scary Covid-19 encounter

Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies founder Soraya Salie and her family had a scary encounter with Covid-19.

The Salie family of Bonteheuwel are slowly making their way to a full recovery after a scary encounter with Covid-19.

Soraya Salie, the founder of the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies, spent three weeks in hospital and her husband, Farouk, was also hospitalised. Their son, Nabiel, also tested positive for Covid-19 and had to have an emergency operation to have his appendix removed.

During their time in hospital, the Salie couple could not celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary, Ms Salie’s 60th birthday and Mr Salie’s birthday.

“Covid-19 put much strain on our family and it was a great challenge facing death, but we serve a mighty, powerful, merciful, compassionate Creator. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone for keeping us in prayer,” Ms Salie said

She was discharged on Tuesday July 21, and Mr Salie was discharged on Saturday July 25.

Ms Salie said she had been in denial when she experienced the initial symptoms in the last week of June.

“My husband also showed signs of flu and insisted we go to the doctor. I was still stubborn and ignorant, but it was actually the fear of what the doctor was going to say. I also couldn’t eat, lost my appetite, smell and taste. I lied to the doctor about losing my sense of smell and taste because I was scared. He referred us to have a test done. I did not want to go for the test, but my husband once again insisted. On our way home from the testing site, my breathing became challenging.”

Ms Salie was admitted to Vincent Pallotti Hospital on the same day.

After a few days in hospital, Ms Salie saw her husband being wheeled in on a hospital bed. Not long after, she saw through a small opening how medical personnel wheeled a body away.

“The nurse closed my curtains, but I couldn’t sleep. There was a small opening, and after a while two ‘astronaut-looking’ people pushed a bed with a body in a white plastic bag past me. I cried my heart out, making dua (praying) for contentment as I thought that was my husband. He too, thought that I had passed on,” Ms Salie said.

She said the experience had reminded her that people needed each other, and it had made her even more grateful for the “precious gift of life”, the value of oxygen, the importance of all her organs, her senses, being able to move, and her limbs.

“We just want to express gratitude from the bottom of our hearts to Dr Shafic Jacobs from Bonteheuwel and all the doctors, nurses, occupational therapist, physiotherapist and staff at Vincent Pallotti Hospital for the empathy they have showed towards us and for giving us the best of care and treatment. We also salute all the other front-line workers,” Ms Salie said.