United States of America ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks, is recuperating at home after testing positive for Covid-19.
Marks says she tested positive in December after experiencing fever, chills, a sore throat, and fatigue.
Marks also said a family member simultaneously began to experience similar symptoms.
“… and though we had been vigilant about mask-wearing and social-distancing, suspecting that we had become infected with Covid-19, we immediately began to isolate at home. Prior to this, with our residence staff on holiday, we had been by ourselves for several days.
“I started to experience shortness of breath and extreme weakness, and as my symptoms worsened, upon the advice of our medical team at the US Embassy, I was admitted to the hospital to seek supplemental oxygen and therapeutic treatment.
“Shortly after admission on 28 December, I was moved to the ICU [ward] where I remained for 10 days before spending three more days in the Covid-19 unit,” Marks said.
Marks was discharged from hospital last week and continues to receive care at home.
Her condition is improving, and doctors are confident that she will eventually make a full recovery.
“This is a tremendously serious and unpredictable illness and it has been the most physically debilitating thing that I have ever experienced in my entire life.
“I will forever be grateful for the excellent level of care that I received from the South African doctors and nurses who tended to me in the hospital.
“I am just one of tens of thousands of Covid-19 patients that South Africa’s healthcare workers and hospitals have treated with the utmost professionalism, putting their own lives at risk in order to practice their calling.
“Having seen them on the front lines of this battle for nearly a year, and now having had my own life in their hands, I will always remember their heroism and dedication and all that they sacrifice and risk as they fight this dangerous illness on behalf of their countrymen,” said Marks.
The ambassador said she was sharing her story to further destigmatise discussions around Covid-19.