The damaged generation: ‘I don’t wish the trauma on any woman’

2013-09-01 06:00

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Child’s name: Seth (7)

Born at: Edenvale Hospital in Ekurhuleni

Cause of cerebral palsy: Birth asphyxia

Case: Sued the state in 2009. Matter was settled out of court and they received R15 million in 2013

Jacolenne Fourie could not wait to hold her first child in her arms. Her water broke on the evening of June 7 2006 and her husband, Johan, rushed her to Edenvale Hospital.

She was examined by a nurse who told her she had not dilated enough to give birth and admitted her.

She began having contractions around 3am the following day and the contractions continued for about 15 hours. During that time nobody examined her.

Medical staff only paid her some attention when her family visited around 6pm and complained about how hospital staff had neglected her.

At about 7.30pm, she was taken to theatre for an emergency Caesarean section because the baby was in distress.

When Seth was born, he was not breathing and had to be resuscitated. He also suffered several seizures.

“I don’t wish the trauma I suffered at Edenvale Hospital on any woman,” Fourie said.

“For hours I lay there and nobody cared to even check if I or my baby was fine. Seth probably was in distress much earlier and they didn’t know because they hadn’t strapped (on) the foetal monitor belt until 4pm when my sister-in-law enquired about why I didn’t have it.”

Fourie and her son spent two days at Edenvale Hospital before they discharged themselves and went to a private clinic in nearby Linksfield.

Today, Seth is unable to sit or walk on his own, or speak properly.

The Fouries have deposited the payout they received after successfully suing the department into a trust account.

They have used some of it to buy him a suit-like support for his stomach to help his posture and strengthen his abdominal muscles, as well as orthopaedic boots to help his stability.

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