Girl’s hospital torment

2019-07-10 16:40
Isabel Botha during her stay at Grey’s Hospital. Her mother, Cecil Botha, is desperate for help to keep her daughter at Life Hilton Hospital after an alleged botched operation at the state hospital.

Isabel Botha during her stay at Grey’s Hospital. Her mother, Cecil Botha, is desperate for help to keep her daughter at Life Hilton Hospital after an alleged botched operation at the state hospital.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A Howick mother is considering taking legal action against the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department after an alleged botched appendectomy operation which left a huge scar across her 16-year-old daughter’s stomach.

Because they have no medical aid, Cecil Botha is desperately trying to raise funds via social media to help keep her daughter, Isabel, at a local private hospital after she removed her from Grey’s Hospital fearing that she might lose her life due to alleged neglect.

Botha said Isabel was referred to Northdale hospital by Eco Clinic in Howick two weeks ago after it was discovered that she needed an urgent operation to remove her appendix.

She said they arrived at Northdale hospital at 10 am on June 24 and her daughter was made to sit in a wheelchair until around 7 pm that night. When the doctors finally attended her, Botha said they decided to transfer her to Grey’s for the operation as her appendix had not burst at the time.

She said the ambulance only arrived at Northdale hospital two hours later.

“She was admitted to casualty where she stayed until midday the following day. The operation was only done 30 hours after we had brought her to the hospital and by that time, her appendix had ruptured,” said Botha.

She said it was explained to her that there would be another operation to clean out the abdominal cavity as the ruptured appendix resulted in toxins being distributed inside the cavity and that this was normal procedure. “After the second operation the staples on the side wound were removed and there was talk about a vacuum dressing.

“This wound was left open for 10 hours and when we questioned them about the vacuum dressing, nobody knew about it because it was not noted down in her file.

“The next day they called me to ask if she could be taken for another operation to clean out the cavity that now was yellow with pus and infection.

“At this point we decided to transfer her to a Life [Hilton] Hospital because she was being neglected, not only in connection with the care of her wounds but they sometimes forgot to give her pain medication as well,” said Botha.

Isabel is now at the Life Hilton and on Friday underwent another operation to fix a punctured colon and to clean out the infection.

“They also found that her colon was nicked in one of the previous operations, which kept leaking toxins into her body, feeding the infections. She spent two days in ICU and one day in high care after her third operation.

“She is in great pain but her blood tests [on Sunday] came back with no sign of infection. She is doing better today,” said Botha.

Botha said she was considering taking legal action against the hospitals but was having trouble finding her daughter’s file as it seemed to have “disappeared into thin air”.

With the private hospital bill escalating every day, the Botha family have taken to social media to raise funds for their daughter’s medical expenses. At the moment, Botha said the bill is sitting around R80 000, this is excluding the doctors, physiotherapists, scans, x-rays, blood tests and medication expenses.

They have so far raised about R42 000.

Isabel, who is a Grade 10 pupil at Howick High School, will be missing school, which re-opened on Tuesday, until she is well enough.

“Isabel is an outgoing, friendly happy child who is always ready to help with a smile. She is a Scout and loves the outdoors. She is passionate about horse riding and animals,” said her mother.

Spokesperson for the KZN Department of Health Ncumisa Mafunda said: “Although the department is prohibited by law from divulging confidential clinical details of the patient, including how they were [managed] within a healthcare facility, the department is nevertheless extremely concerned by these allegations, and views them seriously. The department has sought a full report from management of the hospital for review by the competent clinical unit at head office.”

• Those wishing to assist with Isabel’s medical expenses can contact Pranitha Harryparsad on 073 937 2238 or e-mail her at All donations are deposited directly to the hospital.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  medical negligent

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.