Yesterday [May 5], beloved nurse and hero Petronella Benjamin (62) – known to locals as “Aunty Nellie” – was laid to rest after passing away due to coronavirus-related complications.
A special tribute was arranged for Benjamin by Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo on Workers’ Day last week.
After decades of service, the well-known Eerste River nurse passed away a day before she planned to retire. She is the first health professional in the Western Cape to succumb to COVID-19.
“This day we honour your sacrifice. To the late professional nurse Petronella Benjamin, who passed on from Covid-19. Yesterday was supposed to be her last day at work. She was about to retire after more than 25 years of service,” Mbombo said during the service.
While Benjamin can no longer continue her passion for caring for those in need, she has passed on her duty to her daughter, who is also a nurse with the Department.
Mbombo said a hero had fallen, and tributes to Aunty Nellie continue to pour in while her memory will live forever in the many hearts of those who she helped.
“RIP Sister Petronella Benjamin. You were the only nurse I’ve come to know with the most amazing bedside manner. On my last visit, you told me you were about to retire and our last conversation with stick with me forever. I remember wishing you the best of luck for your future endeavors and to learn about your death is just heartbreaking. The dept of health certainly lost a hero,” said a past patient on Facebook