Being used to bless someone in need during a hospital stay

“I was admitted to Tygerberg Hospital for the second of two planned eye surgeries recently and I had to spend a couple of nights in the hospital.

On the first night, I was struggling to sleep. There were six ladies in the ward and two beds from me there was an elderly African lady. I was a little annoyed at first as I was struggling to sleep and she was calling the nurses (who weren’t coming) in Xhosa and speaking while I was trying to rest.

Eventually, I got up and went over to her bed and then I was overcome with compassion. 

The sides of her bed had been raised and she had been calling the nurses because she wanted to go to the bathroom. She didn’t speak any English and I didn’t speak any Xhosa but she said the word “pee-pee” and made it understood that she needed to use the loo.

I couldn’t figure out how to drop the guard rails on the sides of the bed, so I had to help lift her over the sides and then help her to the bathroom, as she was very weak and had no strength. Once in the bathroom, she needed some assistance too, which I offered her before turning my back to give her some privacy. I then helped her to the basin and back to her bed.

This became my habit during my stay at the hospital and the next day I gave her some sweets and treats that I had and her eyes filled with tears. I said “Ndiyakuthanda” which is the only Xhosa word I know, which means “I love you”.

I reflected on how an Afrikaans lady and a Xhosa lady were building bridges despite not sharing a common language or culture. I thought to myself, “If I don’t do this for this lady, who will do it?” When I was discharged I gave her more food and treats that my children had brought me and she hugged me for so long and she said “Thank you” in English.

I felt that it was an honour to help this lady. I thought it was an act of kindness but I know it’s what Jesus wanted me to do.” – Celia Uys

Scroll to Top

Sign up below to receive the latest news and information.

Sign up below to receive the latest news and information.