News / Covid-19

Narissa Subramoney
Copy rewriter
3 minute read
22 Nov 2021
3:13 pm

Cape Town couple offer their home as pop-up Covid-19 vaccination site

Narissa Subramoney

Florence Bolotina became a vaccine ambassador after was diagnosed with Covid in October and spent two weeks in a coma.

Picture: Supplied.

Pop-up Covid-19 vaccination sites are growing increasingly popular in the Western Cape. So much so that a Cape Town couple has offered up their home as a pop-up vaccination site for their community.

Godfrey Bolotina and his wife Florence, 57, who live in Lost City in Tafelsig, have become vaccine ambassadors for their community.

The couple wants to make the jabs accessible to their fellow residents who can’t afford to travel for their vaccine.

“Communities asked for access to vaccinations closer to them, away from fixed health sites, and we have delivered,” said the Western Cape government in a statement.

“Through working with our communities, our health teams have listened, have adjusted their strategy, and have taken vaccines into people’s homes.”

Florence, also known to her community as Sister Ndumi, suffered from multiple chronic illnesses when she was diagnosed with Covid-19 in October 2021.

She was admitted to Mitchells Plain District Hospital’s Covid-19 ward and was later transferred to the Brackengate Hospital of Hope, where she went into a coma for two weeks.

Florence and Godfrey Bolotina are fully vaccinated and sit in their home while the health team from Mitchells Plain vaccinates community members from Tafelsig.

After her recovery, Florence and Godfrey received their shots and were inspired to open their home for their community to easily access the vaccine closer to their homes.

“I have this happiness in my heart that health staff from Klipfontein and Mitchells Plain are bringing the vaccination service closer to our homes,” said Godfrey.

“When I had Covid-19, I struggled to breathe and could not walk or even talk without gasping for breath. I am diabetic, hypertensive, I have asthma and a heart condition,” said Florence.

Godfrey feared that his wife would not survive and lived in fear of receiving a dreaded call from doctors throughout her coma.

Godfrey, who uses crutches after a car accident a few years ago, relies on his wife to care for him.

“The two months she was in hospital was a difficult time for me, and I asked God to help her because if she had to die, then I think I would not have survived long without her,” said Godfrey.

“I thought I would never see her again because when I called the hospital, I was not allowed to visit her, and she could not talk to me because she was too sick,” he remembers.

“After two months stay at the Brackengate Hospital of Hope, I cried to go home because I missed my family. I want to tell the elderly people that this virus is not a joke, so get your vaccine to protect yourself,” said Florence.

The couple now encourages the elderly over 50 and 60 years old to take the vaccine because they are more at risk of getting sick from Covid-19.

“The elderly are saying that they have lived their lives already, but I encourage the over 50s and 60s to take the vaccine because our loved ones still need us,” said Florence.

“The vaccine will help your body fight Covid-19 better and prevent you from ending up sick in hospital or dying,” she concluded.

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