Final journey for hero doctor, who died so others can live


DRESSED in the green and blue hazmat suits, the protective gear usually worn in hospital theatres during the battle to save lives, they lined the passage in a special guard of honour. 

The spotless floors gleamed and the eyes of the health workers were wet with heartbreak tears. The eerie silence was only punctuated by the soft singing, through the masks, of Amazing Grace. 

At the end of the long passage, a stretcher, pulled by a figure dressed in white/green, emerges. The emotional health workers nod and wave as they stretcher slowly goes past them. This is the moment dreaded by nurses and doctors at the Welkom Meulmed Hospital, who risks their lives on a daily basis so that they can save others. 

On the stretcher is the body of a medical practitioner, neatly wrapped in a white sheet – yet another brave health hero who was at the forefront of the war against COVID-19 pandemic and paid the ultimate price.

Soft cries echoed through the passage as Dr Mohammed Bobat made his last trip out of a hospital that had become his second home. An institution where he saved many lives. 

Dr Bobat had dedicated 20 years of his life to the service of the sick.

His sacrifice was, along with others who died in the line of duty, have been praised President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.

Ramaphosa said: ‘The progress we are recording in our management of COVID 19 would not be possible without the dedication and professionalism of our doctors, nurses and other health personnel, who have had to confront this unprecedented disease often under extremely difficult conditions. We pay tribute to them, many of whom have been infected and some who have lost their lives taking care of others.”The Free State Department of Health described Dr Bobat as a leader in his field of work and practitioner who was a revered man in his community.

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