Discovery recently received a heartfelt letter from Edith Canhola, a 60-year-old project coordinator from Table View in the Cape. In it, she thanks Discovery Home Care for sending professional nurses Sister Lexi Johnson and Sister Drikie Robertson into her life.
Edith Canhola wrote the following letter to Discovery:
I would like to put on record that you have two stars working here in Cape Town. Sister Lexi is a gem and is very passionate about her work. She is very friendly and has never come to see me in a bad mood. She goes out of her way to help you and will follow up to see how you’re feeling and if everything is okay. She is gentle and sympathetic when you’re not feeling well. Sister Drikie is dedicated to her work and is very friendly. She will go out of her way to help you. They both listen to you, the patient. They take into consideration that you know your own body, and where needed, they will try and make alternative arrangements. They are an asset to your company and show their dedication in everything they do. I would recommend them to anybody who needs Home Care.
Edith’s letter stirred our interest and we contacted her to hear more about her story…
The lasting effects of deep vein thrombosis
For over three decades, Edith has been battling with bad circulation in her legs. “Thirty-eight years ago, I was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). I went to hospital for a while and this was the start of my problems with bad circulation. Eighteen years later, I got DVT again and since then I’ve been suffering on and off with small ulcers because of the bad circulation,” she explains.
Edith no longer suffers from DVT, but for the past year, her ulcers have become more persistent. “In October last year, I got two small ulcers on the inside of my left ankle which healed after my specialist did a debridement. In December, I got another ulcer above the previous two but this time it got bigger and bigger and up to today I am still being treated for it,” she says. “There’s been a big improvement, thanks to the treatment I am receiving from Discovery Home Care. The Discovery Home Care nurses come see me twice a week to evaluate, clean and dress the ulcer with a silver dressing. I also wear a compression stocking to help with the circulation.”
“Life is so much easier”
Edith explains how she found out about Discovery Home Care. “In January 2019, my specialist, Dr Kris Michalowski, booked me into hospital for the debridement of the ulcer,” she says. Dr Michalowski is a vascular surgeon at the Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital in Cape Town. A debridement is the removal of unhealthy tissue from a wound to promote healing.
“At the end of January, I needed another debridement. Then at the end of February, I had to go back to hospital for a week to receive an intravenous drip as I had picked up an infection. After I spent two days in hospital, Dr Wilandi Jacobs took over from Dr Michalowski. Before discharging me, Dr Jacobs phoned Home Care and arranged for them to come and take care of my wound.”
From the beginning of March, Sister Lexi and Sister Drikie have been visiting twice a week. “If I had to go to a doctor’s surgery or hospital to have my wound cleaned and dressed twice a week, I cannot imagine how I would have handled it. The healing of ulcers is a long process and having the Home Care sisters take care of the necessary treatment for me has made life so much easier.”
“They show compassion”
Over the past five months, Edith has grown fond of Sister Lexi and Sister Drikie. “They are brilliant. They’re always thinking of your wellbeing. If I am in a bit of pain when they come to see me, then that night I will get a WhatsApp message from them asking how I am feeling; if my leg is okay. They show compassion.”
Edith adds: “They listen to you – that’s the most important thing. I have told them I suffer from allergies and they are willing to try different things to help me. If I ask them not to use a certain dressing because of the allergies, they try and give me alternatives. They listen to me because they understand that I know my own body.”
Edith concludes with a message to her “two stars” in Cape Town:
Thank you very much. If it was not for the dedication and caring that I received from both of you, the wound would not have healed like it has. Thank you for the high-quality care and thank you for listening to me and for showing dedication and compassion.
Sister Drikie says, “It’s very satisfying to know that you’re making a difference and making life easier for the patient. We are blessed to work with an amazing team and great management who gives us the resources to give the best care possible.”
DISCOVERY HEALTH MEDICAL SCHEME IS AN INDEPENDENT NON-PROFIT ENTITY GOVERNED BY THE MEDICAL SCHEMES ACT, AND REGULATED BY THE COUNCIL FOR MEDICAL SCHEMES. IT IS ADMINISTERED BY A SEPARATE COMPANY, DISCOVERY HEALTH (PTY) LTD, AN AUTHORISED FINANCIAL SERVICES PROVIDER.
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