Patient found dead in hospital ceiling

Paarl - The body of a 61-year-old man has been found in the ceiling of a hospital in Stellenbosch - two weeks after he underwent surgery at the facility, the Western Cape health department has confirmed.

According to provincial health department spokesperson Mark van der Heever, the man was admitted to Stellenbosch Hospital, Cape Town on October 5 and underwent abdominal surgery.

However, he disappeared after a nurse, who had been attending to him, left to fetch clean linen.

A search party and the South African Police Services (SAPS) were unable to find him.

“Sadly, the patient’s body was discovered 13 days later in an isolated area in the ceiling, which is difficult to reach. There is currently construction work being carried out at the hospital which also contributed to the difficulty of the search. The circumstances relating to how the patient got access to the ceiling are currently being investigated,” Van der Heever said in a statement.

The department has conveyed its condolences to the family and is expected to meet with them once an autopsy report has been released. The report will be discussed with the family.

The family has been offered trauma and counselling services.

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