White balloons were spotted floating all across the skies of The Central Business District in Pretoria and brought a sense of joy to the city as bystanders looked up to the sky in astonishment and curiosity. The 17th of May 2022 may have seemed like a strange day to the unaware but for the nurses at Louis Pasteur Hospital, the day mirrored a homecoming for soldiers returning from war. That was the day they were seen, acknowledged, and celebrated for the sacrifice and bravery they’ve shown which ultimately earned them the name; “Covid-19 Warriors”.

Louis Pasteur Hospital partnered with Afrinurse to ensure that their Covid-19 Warriors were celebrated in style and that the day would set a new standard as to how Nurses Day should be celebrated. “Nurses: A voice to lead” was the theme of the day as Sister K. Disetlhe opened up the event with a prayer that Jesus and His disciples would be proud of.

Advocate Motshwane then gave a heartwarming speech about the importance of taking care of yourself as a nurse. He highlighted that our nurses always prioritise the health and wellbeing of their patients which is required but he reminded them that in order to take care of others one must first take care of oneself.

The nurses were then encouraged to get up, laugh, and dance more so they could enhance their endorphins and lower the stress levels that naturally come with their environment.

I guess the advocate had a real effect on the nurses as they couldn’t stop singing and dancing after he had spoken, let’s hope we managed to prevent a stroke or two with all the endorphins that were produced on that day.

The nurses of Louis Pasteur reciting their nurses pledge of service with conviction

Afrinurse organised a session where tribute could be paid to all the nurses, to honour them for their remarkable work and the dedication they have shown to their profession. In true Nurses Day fashion, the Covid-19 Warriors stood together and recited the Nurses Pledge of Service, “I solemnly pledge myself to the service of humanity and will endeavor to practice my profession with conscience and with dignity.It is this first line of the pledge that always sends chills down my spine and forms a reminder of the sacrifice our nurses make to ensure a healthier and happier world, it is because of this that the other parts of our lives may go on. Powerful!

Once all the formal parts of the day were concluded Afrinurse had prepared white balloons for the nurses to hold while standing in formation. Big LPH letters were drawn on the ground to guide the nurses while a drone flew up in the air and captured the beautiful imagery from above. A moment of silence was only appropriate in order to honour all the Covid-19 Warriors who transitioned into the afterlife, whose sacrifice and bravery will be remembered for years to come. The balloons were released into the world, to float, and land wherever the wind leads it as a tribute to the nurses who came, conquered, and left. May all their beautiful souls rest in peace.

Mable Msuthwana was then called to the front to hand out the “Dedication and Bravery” certificates that Afrinurse designed for the Covid-19 Warriors - What they did for South Africa and ultimately for the world will not and can not ever be forgotten.

The 17th of May was a day of celebration where the women and men dressed in white, who do exceptional work on a daily basis got the opportunity to shine just as brightly as stars do. Afrinurse is a company that prides itself on creating experiences for nurses that transcends the test of time. A professional photographer was hired to take individual and group pictures of all the nurses at Louis Pasteur Hospital, both in attendance and on duty. How else can a memory surpass time other than being captured in the moment?

Imagine a garland arranged with different coloured balloons, a Queen sized chair with fluffy white pillows and candles lit on a white luxurious mat. That was the scenery Afrinurse arranged for the nurses, all that was left was for them to smile and then click! Just like that, memories that will last forever.

Thank you Covid-19 Warriors, you have definitely impacted the history and future of the world in a positive way. Onwards and upwards!