IN the midlands town of Corby, UK, stays a happy family whose roots are in Zimbabwe.
This is the Chiwuta family.
The mother is Ruth Chiwuta, commonly known as Sister Ruth by her church family.
Nothing had prepared Sister Ruth and her family of what was to come.
Sister Ruth is a jovial and hardworking nurse.
She had taken COVID-19 seriously and took all precautions to ensure she kept it out of her family.
Chiwuta, the father, is in the frontline so as Sister Ruth.
On March 27 2020, the Chiwuta family was struck with very mild symptoms of COVID-19.
They quickly made haste to self-quarantine as one of the boys, ‘Ra’, displayed symptoms.
‘Ra’ had reported feeling tightness of chest and temperature surges. Everyone was fit and getting on at this point.
As they got through the weekend, things gradually started to change.
Each family member exhibited some flu-like symptoms. Before they sailed through to Monday, Sister Ruth had started coughing.
The cough became dry and painful.
Sister Ruth was referred to the local general hospital.
Everyone put his/her trust in the hands of the doctors.
On arrival at the hospital, she was examined by a certain doctor. The family had turned to prayer mode.
After some few examinations, she was sent back home.
The doctor was being cautious and was alive to the fact that the NHS was not to be overburdened.
A very heavy burden lay on the Chiwuta family.
The family felt restless as the cough intensified.
By then, Sister Ruth was running a feverish temperature.
She also started losing oxygen saturation levels.
On Sunday, a terrifying thing happened.
Her oxygen levels had dropped to the 60s.
This prompted her husband to call 999.
The family was gripped with fear and a sense of hopelessness took over.
There was a possibility that Sister Ruth might die.
Chiwuta started praying.
He knew that the boys were worried but, as a father, he did not want to break down.
He prayed as as his wife was being wheeled out of the house to the ambulance.
No member of the family was allowed to escort the mother to hospital.
There was to be no visit.
The phone became the source of communication.
Reports from hospital were coming through phone calls.
The first call came and the family was scared to answer, but it had to be answered.
The nurse on the other side of the phone reported that they had found that she had developed pneumonia and was to be out under sedation and on oxygen therapy.
That was to be her life for the next 28 days.
While in the house, the family would go for hours without food. Their thoughts were with Sister Ruth
Twenty eight days passed, but Sister Ruth remained in hospital. One blessed day, as usual, the call came in.
Sister Ruth had opened her eyes for the first time.
She opened her mouth too and expressed worry about her grandchildren.
Such was Sister Ruth.
While everybody was worried about her health, she was worrying about others.
The good news healed the whole family which was in quarantine.On May 7 2020, Sister Ruth was discharged from hospital.
People of all colour lined the street, keeping the physical distancing values as they clapped and sang in praise to God for the safe return of Sister Ruth.
Many people in Sister Ruth’s ward did not make it but Sister Ruth was saved.
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