Chithekile Hlabisa was possibly among the oldest people in the country to be vaccinated against Coving-19 which has claimed many lives, including that of her daughter’s
Durban – At 101 years Chithekile Hlabisa has survived a lot, including Covid-19.
This week, Hlabisa was possibly among the oldest people in the country to be vaccinated against Coving-19 which has claimed many lives, including that of her daughter’s.
Hlabisa and her daughter Nelisiwe were both struck by the illness. Nelisiwe succumbed to the disease but Hlabisa pulled through after spending a month in Empangeni’s Ngwelezane Hospital.
Yesterday, she took the opportunity to get vaccinated during a short programme that took place in the Mzingazi area.
While she has been hailed as being resilient, Hlabisa said she was grateful for the grace of God as she thought she had reached the end of her life due to the fact that she also suffered from a heart condition.
“Because I have battled a heart condition for the better part of my life, I was almost certain that getting infected with the coronavirus would be the end for me. Compounding this with the death of my daughter, Nelisiwe, who succumbed to the virus, I thought my infection was the final nail in the coffin,” she said.
“It is only by the grace of God that I am still alive,” said Hlabisa, when asked about her secret for longevity.
“I have been waiting patiently for the vaccine. Being hospitalised for this virus can be a scary episode. I was only too happy to hear that now we are vaccinating,” she said, and encouraged people of her age and younger ones to take their jab as soon as possible.
“I was afraid earlier on. But after getting more information about how the vaccine is intended to help, I was determined to take it as soon as it arrived,” said Hlabisa.
City of uMhlathuze mayor Mduduzi Mhlongo showered Hlabisa with gifts that included a wheelchair, blankets, sleeping gown, slipper shoes and two baskets full of fresh fruit. He described her as “an immensely resilient woman”.
“Her resilience is encouraging to everyone, giving hope that we can indeed defeat this pandemic,” Mhlongo said.
In the City of uMhlathuze, he said, they have more than 20 vaccine sites and some senior citizens will be vaccinated in their homes, and he urged the senior citizens to take up the opportunity.