Boat mishap: woman dies in coma

2012-05-07 00:00

A WOMAN who walked around for a week with a broken back died yesterday morning.

Nola van der Westhuizen (44) had been in a coma since April 27, and was declared brain dead on Friday.

Her back was broken when the boat she was on at Cape Vidal on the North Coast was hit by a freak wave and came down hard.

She didn’t realise how seriously injured she was until days later. On April 27, a blood clot entered her heart shortly after surgery to repair her back. Her heart was restarted, but she had fallen into a coma from which she never recovered.

Conrad Burger, her partner of nine years, said yesterday the Unitas Hospital in Pretoria summoned him and Van der Westhuizen’s two sons, DG (26) and Francois (20), to her bedside yesterday. He said: “We were just too late. She died around 2.30 am, mercifully before we had to turn off the machines keeping her alive.”

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