Naomi Holdt and friends started candle ceremonies in KZN to honour the men and women, sacrificing everything to save lives during the pandemic.
Hilton, South Africa (23 February 2021) – Naomi Holdt launched an initiative to applaud the healthcare workers at surrounding hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal. Along with some friends, Naomi decided to line up outside a local hospital with candles, playing music and singing for nurses during their shift changes.
It all started when Naomi received a message from a doctor friend at her local hospital, asking for the support of their nurses. The friend explained that the nurses at the hospital were feeling burned out and alone.
“Things like this mean more to the staff than you know. People are angry about the harsh restrictions but they have no idea how horrid it is going to work every day at the moment. Paeds lost 2 kids because they couldn’t ventilate them because of the low oxygen pressures in the system with so many patients on oxygen at the moment. It was purely oxygen failure. We are watching the herses line up every morning to fetch the bodies. And before those beds are cold they are filled again. It is really not a happy place to be at the moment. So all your efforts help to lighten the load.”
The public doesn’t understand what is happening in our hospitals. Nurses are feeling incredibly overwhelmed and exhausted.
Naomi started the initiative, Care for Life, to celebrate everyone because of hearing how hard it was for medical staff to stay motivated. They visited their first hospital, and a few days later, the hospital manager said there was one case where a nurse was on her last straw; she left work wishing never to return and was faced by a crowd of people cheering her on. They held up candles and sang to her. It was the moment that gave her the strength to keep going.
Another nurse tracked Naomi down on social media to tell her that her son was so happy to see her smile. It meant so much to him that people also cared about his mother.
Naomi put a call out for people to donate items that they would use to fill care packs. Since then, they have had so many donations, and over 1000 have been given to nurses who need a little pick me up, love and support.
Photographer Bailee Guy quickly donated her skills to capture each and every moment during these celebrations. They happen often, so if you would like to take part, to light a candle for our healthcare workers.
If you would like to get involved, you can message Naomi via Facebook, state whether you would like to join the candle ceremonies or if you would like to donate. There are a few Whatsapp groups, and you will be added to the one relevant to what you can offer.
Please take a look at the stunning images of their last few candle ceremonies.