Bee stings: woman back in hospital

2014-03-14 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal woman who survived more than 500 bee stings had to be rushed to Northdale Hospital after she developed an allergic reaction in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The Witness reported yesterday that Sunitha Sheik (44), was stung by a swarm of bees at the corner of Nelson and Campbell streets in Richmond on Wednesday. She was helped by her hairdresser who sprayed two cans of Doom over her to kill the bees before she was taken to Richmond Clinic for proper medical treatment.

“I looked like a monster because my head and face were double their normal size and I was in so much pain,” she said speaking on her cellphone from hospital yesterday.

She said she was so badly swollen that she could not breathe. She also suffers from diabetes and hypertension.

“The doctor said it was a miracle I am still alive after developing the allergic reaction.”

Sheik said the incident had been such a traumatic experience for her.

She added that her children are supposed to be writing exams but wanted to come to the hospital to see how she was doing.

“The doctor said I would have died if the swelling continued because it was about to completely shut my windpipe,” she said.

The swelling only went down because of a lot of medication she had been given but she was still in pain, she said

Sheik complained about how the Richmond Municipality insisted on her writing a letter about the incident while she was in hospital.

She believes she was attacked by the swarm due to the negligence of the municipal grader driver who disturbed the hive and then refused to help when the bees attacked her.

Her husband, Farhad, said this was a difficult time for his family because he had to be at work and leave their two children at home.

“When I go back home I have to take them to the hospital because the whole day we were worried about what would happen to my wife,” he said.

Sheik’s friend, Ronal Singh, said when she drove past the site where the bees were she had all her windows closed, “because I was afraid”.

But the community of Richmond breathed a sigh of relief after a bee handler volunteered to help the Richmond Crime Watch to remove them.

Yesterday evening, Tracy Martyn, the wife of the bee handler, Miles, said her husband had removed the bulk of the swarm and was still trying to collect the stray ones. Nobody was attacked yesterday because a BBM warning message had been sent out in advance for people stay away, she said.

“We are concerned about the bees and they have been relocated to a safer place and have not been harmed,” she said.

Martyn said today they would go back to the site to remove more bees.

Richmond municipal manager Sibusiso Sithole said they were investigating the incident.

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