Toti girl rushed from Maputo on mercy flight dies in Durban

2013-12-23 00:00

ONE of the two siblings from Amanzimtoti who had been flown from Mozambique to Durban after undergoing emergency tracheotomies, died yesterday.

Tian Fourie (12) and Lianja van Rhyn (8) underwent the procedures at Icor Hospital in Mozambique after their respiratory tracts had closed due to severe swelling.

They had been diagnosed as having mumps.

Yesterday, their grandmother Lana Fourie confirmed that her “little angel Lianja van Rhyn” died in the morning.

“The family is in bad state at the moment after our loss. It’s a very sad time for us,” she said.

The siblings had been visiting their father, who lives in Maputo.

The sobbing grandmother said she had been so relieved when the children came back home last week and had been taken to Nkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital.

“I did not know that worse was to come. But we are grateful to the hospital staff and the people who were involved in saving the lives of my grandchildren,” she sobbed.

Fourie said her family needs prayers and also to ensure that Tian comes out of hospital alive. “People who are thinking of us should pray for my grandson who is still in hospital,” she said.

The two children were flown from Maputo on a KZN Emergency Services air ambulance and after landing at King Shaka International Airport were rushed to Albert Luthuli Hospital.

Hospital spokesperson John Thusi confirmed that Lianja died at around 6 am. “We cannot discuss any condition that led to the child’s death,” said Thusi.

He added that Tian was responding very well to medication in hospital.

Yesterday, Fourie said her family was still trying to contact relatives about the death. “The funeral date will only be set when all family members have been informed.”

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