Vuyo Ndlovu

Featured, Survivor

I’m a 40 year old female nurse with 17 years post experience after 4-year nursing course training. My story begins as follows.

It was on the 11.01.2022 and I was pregnant approaching end of my 2nd trimester, this was the most precious moment in our life. We were in love since 2002 and this was our second pregnancy, in 2019 I had miscarriage. I woke up feeling okay, but in the morning hours, I started having uncontrolled shivering and my colleagues forced me to visit our occupation health clinic. I agreed and after consultation I went to sleep and rest in my residence. I called my husband and told him I was feeling unwell.

I woke up shortly after 12pm with severe abdominal back pain, I had no idea I was in labour. My husband arrived in hospital residence and rushed me into the private hospital when we arrived there my gynecologist told my baby heartbeat has stopped ?, but my baby was alright last night. I was then induced on labour and delivered my beautiful baby girl. After delivery I had retained placenta and I tried to deliver my placenta but I failed and I started loosing consciousness. I last remember myself pleading for help to deliver my placenta and everything went blank. My husband told me I was then transferred to theatre for removal of placenta, but while in theatre I went to septic shock and I was resuscitated. (Sepsis and Pregnancy & Childbirth, Sepsis and Septic Shock)

I was told by one of the theatre nurse that I was in theatre recovery section for 6hrs. Then I was transferred to high care unit. I remember myself being woken up by the loud noise of doctors and nurses. They were shouting why I was transferred in such a state from theatre and I heard someone saying we have no blood pressure. I remember myself trying to pray but I don’t remember what I was saying and everything went blank again. This time around I was going into septic shock for the second time. I was then transferred to ICU.

My condition went from bad to worse. I ended up being ventilated and started having organ failure. I was on dialysis and had to go for major operation because my condition was getting worse, I went for the major operation while in that critical condition. Everything went well. My body was reacting to antibiotics and destroying my platelets so badly. At one stage I was the most critical patient in the ICU. While ventilated I started having tissue necrosis in my extremities, I was on vaso-compressors. In fact my husband told me I was on vaso-compressors before being ventilated because of my blood pressure. Some of the tissues in my fingers, toes and my sole died because of poor oxygen supply to my peripheral tissues. This was due to organ failure. I had countless blood transfusions. I also had pleural effusion in my right lung , this was diagnosed post ventilation.

In the end I was amputated all tips of my toes. Some toes they were all amputated and some of my right fingers were amputated. (Sepsis and Amputations) I also loss my uterus? and my beautiful girl. Sepsis took so much from me. My life will surely never be the same, but I’m happy to be alive, to see the beauty of life.

My husband truly showed how much he cared for me. He was present from day one till today. He is the one who was in-charge of my health while I was critical. Today I’m strong and do not fear death anymore. Today I’m still not yet back at work and still have open sore underneath in my sole, due to debridement of my tissues. My right foot was debrided up to level of tendons and some bones. My left foot has healed well though I had amputations, hyper sensitivity, but it has healed.

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