Mamelodi Sundowns’ first owner Dr Motsiri Itsweng‚ 76‚ survives Covid-19 after three weeks in ICU

16 September 2020 - 12:14 By Marc Strydom
A file photo of Dr Motsiri Itsweng pictured with the Mamelodi Sundowns jersey in March 2016.
A file photo of Dr Motsiri Itsweng pictured with the Mamelodi Sundowns jersey in March 2016.
Image: Arena Holdings

Mamelodi Sundowns’ first owner‚ Dr Motsiri Itsweng‚ is recovering from Covid-19 having beaten the disease spending three weeks in ICU‚ and two weeks on a ventilator.

Dr Itsweng’s recovery comes at the age of 76‚ and despite having cardiac comorbidities.

Itsweng and the late Dr Bonny Sebotsane bought second division Marabastad Sundowns in 1979‚ renamed the club Mamelodi Sundowns‚ and oversaw its promotion to the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) first division in 1982.

They sold the team to Zola Mahobe in 1985.

Itsweng spent three weeks in ICU at Netcare Union Hospital in Alberton.

“I was admitted on June 25 and discharged on July 17‚ so I was in hospital for about three weeks‚” Itsweng told TimesLIVE.

“Actually that’s what the doctors were saying‚ that I am ‘a miracle’‚ because they were expecting the worst because of my age.”

After his admission‚ Itsweng was initially put on non-invasive respiratory assistance.

“I was then put on a ventilator on June 29 because my oxygen pressure had dropped.

“I was on the life-saving machine until July 14. I was then taken to high care for two days before I was discharged on July 17.

“I wish to thank my physician‚ Dr Moledi‚ for the job well done. He was very happy with the way I responded to his treatment because my age was against me as well as cardiac comorbidities.

“On discharge I could not walk and all the recovery was at home.

"I must mention that I have a very supportive family. My wife and five daughters were fantastic. They rallied together so I could have a speedy recovery.

“I am still struggling with my voice‚ which is improving after seeing an ENT [ear‚ nose and throat] surgeon.

“Under the circumstances I must say I am doing very well. It was through the grace of God that I survived the Covid-19.

“Thank you to the ICU staff at Union Hospital for working so hard that I managed to pull through. I owe my life to them and my loving family.”

Itsweng said he is recovering gradually at home now.

“My lungs are OK. I had a narrowing of my voice box‚ and I have seen the ENT surgeon for that and he did a small procedure‚” he said.

“It happens because those tubes are not meant to be there for that long‚ so they traumatise the system.

“I run out of energy if I try to run or anything‚ but I can walk OK now‚” he said.

Bonny Sebotsane died in November last year.

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