Foetal screening ‘misses defects’

June 4, 2008

Boy left to rot in hospital

THE family of a teenager who died after five months in a hospital bed are suing the provincial Health Department after claiming he rotted to death. Siyavuya Maloyi, 17, died last Sunday in Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital (NMH).

He was accidently stabbed in the back on December 23 in the Transkei village of Bojane, in Ngcobo.

What followed were five torturous months of attempted recuperation in the Mthatha hospital, during which time Maloyi received abdominal surgery, apparently without the consent or knowledge of his family.

After the operation in January family members noticed a foul odour on Maloyi and reported it.

Just before he died, his aunt Nosimo, her husband Siyambonga and the familys lawyer, Bongani Magoxo of LP Mvulana Attorneys, visited the teenager in hospital. They were shocked to find that his buttocks and legs were rotting away.

Nurses confided to the Daily Dispatch that the stench from Maloyis ward, where he was being kept in isolation, was overpowering.

We couldnt stand the smell from that ward. The patients health was slowly deteriorating. He was rotting and was in a very bad situation, one nurse confessed.

Until the last day of his life, Maloyi had told his aunt (who was his legal guardian) of his pain and suffering, but efforts to get him out of the hospital in the presence of Magoxo and transferred to another medical centre were thwarted.

I begged the doctors to let me rather take him to another hospital, but the doctors refused. Two days later he died, said Nosimo.

Now legal proceedings are under way to sue the state for damages and the familys lawyers have formally asked the hospital for Maloyis medical records, which management have so far refused to release to the family.

The Dispatch has established that Maloyis files were already absent from the hospitals computer system last week.

A death notice signed by Dr NL Petse from NMH states that he died from a heart attack, a blood infection and a ruptured bladder. No postmortem was carried out because Maloyi died from natural causes.

The Dispatch spent a week retracing the teenagers last six months of life, beginning with the stabbing incident on December 23 when he was wounded by a younger friend after intervening in a mock fight.

Both families regarded it as an accident, but the matter was reported to the Ngcobo Police Station.

Maloyi was taken to the local All Saints Hospital and records show he was attended to at 1.29pm and immediately dispatched to Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in a critical condition. He spent four days there before being transferred to Mthathas Bedford Hospital as a certified paraplegic.

For the next 13 days Maloyi received physiotherapy and, on January 10, was taken back to the academic hospital with, according to Bedfords records, swollen legs, serious stomach pains, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Staff at Bedford said when he left Maloyi was in a very critical condition.

A day later doctors performed stomach surgery on Maloyi.

Afterwards, the family noticed there was a bad smell coming from Maloyi and raised the matter with nurses.

When his aunt made another trip to the hospital shortly after the operation, he had been removed from a general ward and placed in isolation because of the terrible odour.

Something went horribly wrong with the operation and it was very bad for that young boy, said another nurse.

Hospital spokesperson Luxolo Tyali refused to give any details about the case.

The family has already written a letter informing us that they are going to take legal action against the hospital, said Tyali. – By MALUNGELO BOOI and BONGANI FUZILE

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