Leukaemia patient’s visitors barred

2009-07-24 00:00

MISCOMMUNICATION at Edendale Hospital left leukaemia sufferer Nompilo Mdladla (11) in tears after people raising funds for her bone marrow transplant were refused entry when they were mistaken for journalists.

Since Nompilo was diagnosed with the disease in 2005, she has been in and out of hospital. Her bone marrow transplant will cost at least R1 million.

The fund-raisers, local businessman Themba Njilo and Ukhozi FM DJ Sbu Buthelezi, paid her a visit on Monday, but were turned away because they were mistaken for journalists.

Njilo said the incident was heartbreaking. When they arrived at the hospital, the security guards told them they could not see Nompilo. They “marched us to the matron’s offices so we could explain our visit to the hospital. She refused to let us see the girl,” he added, and they returned without giving Nompilo the gift they had bought for her.

Thula Mhlophe, who was also refused permission to see Nompilo, echoed Njilo’s words.

He said they spent over two hours trying to explain to the matron on duty who they were and what they were doing there, but she refused to listen to them.

“They mistook us for journalists; however, when we arrived we had no cameras, or notepads or anything that would indicate that we were journalists or that we were there for any other reason either than to see the child.”

Ncamisile Mdladla, Nompilo’s mother, said her daughter has found a donor match, her nine-year-old brother, and all that remains is to source the funds for the transplant.

Samke Mncube, Edendale Hospital public relations officer, said the matron was following protocol by refusing “suspected” media members access to the hospital.

“If the patient is admitted to a health institution, it is the responsibility of the hospital to ensure safety and confidentiality of the patient information.”

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