FOR Zuzeka Thethani International Diabetic Day was a very special day as she graduated as an auxiliary nurse from the St. Joseph’s Home Nurses Training School. Being a diabetic herself, she was admitted as a patient at St Joseph’s when she was merely six years old and remained until 13.
Zuzeka is one of 17 auxiliary nurses who graduated today, completing a full circle of being a patient at the Home, then a student and finally qualifying as an auxiliary nurse. She also received a special award for determination.
“I am so excited and this is a dream come true,” she said.
The guest speaker of the day, Ms Buyelwa Dlangamandla, added to the coincidence as she revealed that as a nurse, she educated Zuzeka’s mother on how to treat her daughter’s condition. Today she is witnessing “this girl” graduating as a nurse.
Zuzeka earlier had to interrupt her studies as she fell pregnant unexpectedly. Today her daughter of four witnessed her mother becoming a qualified auxiliary nurse. At the end of last year, Zuzeka experienced more trying circumstances as she lost her house in a fire and could not save many of her possessions. However, she says, nothing will stand in her way to become an excellent nurse.
As a six year old at the Home, she remembers spending time with the nurses in the wards and later on decided, this is her calling.
More than 100 students have so far graduated from the Nursing School and in many cases became life-changing experiences of upliftment for a better future, says Hayley Carpenter. She has just celebrated her 6th graduation as principal of the Nursing School. She added that of the students 10 have become staff nurses and 1 has gone on to become a registered nurse.