During the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, Angela Hartwig was the only doctor on duty at Adelaide Hospital in the Eastern Cape. Though pregnant, she continued to treat patients and assist nurses — giving direction from afar, even after she tested positive for the virus — shortly before she gave birth. Now on maternity leave, she is very much still present, assisting telephonically wherever she can. Her most memorable moment over this period? When the hospital staff came to stand outside her window with a message of support after she tested positive. Throughout this period, Angela was also working tirelessly behind the scenes: preparing the hospital for patients, attempting to mitigate the spread within the clinic, as well as educating and motivating the hospital staff to help them cope during these difficult times.
“I want to not only inspire but empower people to bring change to their workplaces and communities, to know that everyone doing their part together can make a difference.”
If her tenacity over the past few months hasn’t left you feeling misty-eyed, perhaps her words of advice in the midst of trying times will. “Don’t let yourself become frustrated by things out of your control: you may not be able to change the circumstances around you, but work to make a difference in the areas you can control. Do what you can with what you have, do it with joy, and don’t feel bad about what you can’t do.”