Man to lose foot after hospital delays

2013-01-10 11:31
George Earle, 52, a diabetic, waits for surgery in the Middelburg Hospital in Mpumalanga. (Nico Van Heerden, Beeld)

George Earle, 52, a diabetic, waits for surgery in the Middelburg Hospital in Mpumalanga. (Nico Van Heerden, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - A man who has been waiting 19 days to be attended to by doctors in the Middelburg Hospital in Mpumalanga will probably lose his foot, Beeld reported on Thursday.

George Earle, 52, a diabetic, originally had his big toe amputated in Bethal a few months ago, but was readmitted to hospital on 22 December when the wound became infected.

He was prepared for surgery a few times, only to be told that the hospital did not have enough anaesthetists, and that accident victims had to be given priority.

Earle told Beeld that his blackened foot, which by Wednesday had become maggot-infested and was oozing a foul-smelling fluid, would now have to be amputated above the ankle.

"It feels like a piece of dead meat and every now and again I experience a terrible stabbing pain. They have told me that there might be a doctor available on Friday," said Earle.

"Our hands are tied if there are no doctors," nurses at the hospital said.

Dumisani Mlangeni, spokesperson for the Mpumalanga department of health, said that Earle was "on the list" for treatment.

- SAPA
Read more on:    mbombela  |  health
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