Winston Cogill says that the patience of the staff at the hospital was amazing. Some nurses would just come to hold his hand and sing to him.
Western Cape, South Africa (12 July 2021) – Meet Winston Cogill – the longest surviving COVID-19-ICU patient at Groote Schuur Hospital. Winston was discharged in March after 122 days in Intensive Care, but he is still dependent on oxygen.
The 54-year-old data analyst from Diep River says that he had flu-like symptoms and was admitted to Victoria Hospital in October 2020. Two days later, he was transferred to Groote Schuur Hospital.
“I arrived and was put on the High flow machine. A few days later, I was sent to the ICU, where I spent 122 days. Most of these days were spent on a ventilator.”
“Emotionally, it was very tough, and it still is. It was very frustrating spending such a long time in hospital. Not seeing my wife and my 21-year-old daughter and the rest of my family, I’m one of 8 siblings. I could not speak, but the nurses would communicate with my family with video calls.”
Cogill says that the patience of the staff at the hospital was amazing. Some nurses would just come to hold his hand and sing choruses to him. Daily the staff would brush his teeth. While he was 100 days in ICU, he even got a haircut!
The COVID survivor was wheeled out of the hospital on the 11th March 2021.
“How I made it, only God knows. Twice my wife was called in by the doctors for her to come and say her final goodbyes. But here I am, still alive. This is only God and the wonderful staff at Groote Schuur Hospital who went beyond the call of duty to help me. The rest of the world should come to GSH to see how real ICU care is done.”
Professor Ivan Joubert was one of the doctors who treated Winston at the hospital,” Winston will always stand out clearly in the minds of those of us who looked after him. He was desperately ill with COVID, and there many times, we didn’t think he’d survive. After four months in ICU, we all got to know him well – no doubt he us too! We used to tease him about becoming an honorary member of staff. The whole team feels tremendous satisfaction knowing that he’s doing so well.”