Heart at­tack ki in H Hwange

go! - - Letters Upfront -

Dur­ing the June hol­i­days, I camped with my wife An­namie in Hwange Na­tional Park, Zim­babwe. One of the places we stayed was Si­na­matella Camp – a beau­ti­ful camp­site over­look­ing end­less mopane veld. The next af­ter­noon we drove the Si­na­matella Loop. At one stage I got out of the car to look for some­thing in the back, and felt a ter­ri­ble chest pain. I got into the car again and the pain went away. It came back later in camp, ris­ing into my throat, sub­sided and re­turned that night be­tween 11 pm and 4 am. Af­ter a brief respite, the pain was back when I ate a rusk at 6 am. We drove to the lo­cal clinic but the nurse wasn’t there. We de­cided to strike camp and drive to Bu­l­awayo. On the way, in the town of Hwange, we went to see a doc­tor at Hwange Colliery Hospi­tal. We paid the $4 fee and Dr Ed­win Mbereko checked my blood pres­sure: 240/122! He said he was obliged to ad­mit me for the night. I was placed in the in­ten­sive care unit and given oxy­gen. Blood sam­ples were taken: My car­diac en­zyme level showed that I’d suf­fered a heart at­tack. They gave me mor­phine and con­nected me to mon­i­tors. We man­aged to phone our fam­ily doc­tor in Musina, Dr Bar­bara Ca­wood. She spoke to Dr Mbereko and said we should just re­main calm; she’d take care of the rest. Min­utes later we got a call from some­one at GEMS, our med­i­cal scheme, as­sur­ing us of their full sup­port. An aero­plane was be­ing dis­patched from Harare and would be in Hwange early the next morn­ing. The plane ar­rived as promised, with a doc­tor and an as­sis­tant on board. We landed in Bu­l­awayo half an hour later for im­mi­gra­tion and cus­toms pur­poses, then we flew to Lanse­ria where an am­bu­lance was wait­ing to take me to Net­care Uni­tas Hospi­tal in Cen­tu­rion. Nine days and six stents later, I’m re­cov­er­ing at my chil­dren’s place in Potchef­stroom! Thank you very much to Drs Cobus Baden­horst (Uni­tas), Ca­wood and Mbereko. You were all in­cred­i­ble. ARCHIE STANDER, Musina

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