Operation ends in tragedy

2018-03-07 06:01
The surgery mark on the head of the deceased Bongani Afrika (4).Photos: Supplied

The surgery mark on the head of the deceased Bongani Afrika (4).Photos: Supplied

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Surgery at the Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein to remove a brain tumour from Bongani Afrika (4) ended tragically with the child’s death.

Bongani, who originates from Fauresmith, died on Thursday (01/03) at the hospital where he was ­admitted on 22 November for a tumour to be removed.

A few days after the second surgery, Bongani’s condition went downhill with complications that could not be managed in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Simon Betana, father of the child, says his son was not critical ill before the surgery as he was even enrolled at a pre-school in Fauresmith.

According to him, the explanation given for the cause of the death of his son is “natural cause”.

Betana says it was explained to him that an operation would be needed to drain water from the child’s head.

“The operation was performed because the doctors at Universitas said the child has water on the head, but his head was normal.

“The operation process went well, until the child was out of the operation room,” says Betana.

According to Betana, another surgery was performed at the back of Bongani’s neck on 7 December.

On 15 December Bongani was discharged from the ICU and placed in the ward where he would be taken care of.

“The same day (on 15 December), the wound of the first operation that was done on his head, had opened and he was taken back to the ICU to close the open wound with a piece of his flesh,” says Betana.

“Since then the child was not well at all. Nothing went well during that procedure.

“The doctors then said Bongani has epilepsy.”

After this operation, Betana says he was very surprised and alarmed on discovering that even with the worsen condition of his little boy, he was discharged on 22 December from the ICU and placed in a general ward.

“The doctor stated that the reason for that was a staff shortage of the nurses.

“On 30 December, a doctor told me that the child has air (oxygen) on the brain.

“The doctor also told me that there is nothing that can be done to cure the child, so he must be discharged to the Diamant Hospital in Jagersfontein.

“I refused because the child was not in a state to be discharged and the Diamant Hospital does not have the kind of equipment to take care of the child in his situation.

“They phoned the ­Diamant Hospital regarding the issue, but the hospital refused because they said they were not able to take care of a in his condition,” says Betana.

Aggrieved Betana says in his search for answers over what went wrong with the operation, he was given a hard time at the hospital.

“When I requested the results and the scans of the operation, they refused to give me the information.

“They said we as a family are not allowed to know what is happening or going on regarding the operation.”

He adds that he wrote to Dr David Motau, head of the Free State Department of Health, informing him about the tragic death of his son and asking for explanations.

Express was not able to get comments from the Free State Department of Health at the time of going to print regarding the situation with Bongani’s death.

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