Maggots in mouth: Family sues hospital and KZN health MEC for R11m

2020-02-07 22:27
A Durban man cleans maggots out of his father's mouth after hospital staff refused to help. (Supplied)

A Durban man cleans maggots out of his father's mouth after hospital staff refused to help. (Supplied)

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The family of a Durban man whose mouth was infested with maggots shortly before he died in RK Khan Hospital is suing the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health for negligence, seeking R11m.

On Friday, TimesLive reported the family of Sadek Ebrahim, who died last year, had filed a claim in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court against RK Khan Hospital in Chatsworth and Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu for R11m.

The website said the family accused departmental officials of acting negligently and recklessly in treating Ebrahim.

READ| Maggots in mouth: RK Khan Hospital CEO 'redeployed'

The claim is for general damages, emotional trauma as well as pain and suffering.

His son, Azaad, was claiming R7.5m while his wife, Edith Rajaruthinam, was demanding R3.5m, TimesLive reported.

News24 previously reported Azaad had vowed not to rest until the hospital's staff paid for neglecting his father.

Ebrahim suffered a stroke in 2014. 

In June last year, he was admitted to hospital. He was found with maggots in his mouth shortly before his death on July 3.

A video of the creatures in his mouth then emerged, showing the visibly unwell man's upper lip infested with maggots.

Speaking to News24 shortly after his father's funeral in 2019, a distraught Azaad said he would do all in his power to ensure others did not suffer like his father.

"I do not want others to go through what I have. I took such good care of my father but the treatment we received at the hospital and the unprofessionalism of the staff is horrendous. That cannot go on."

READ MORE| Family left fuming as maggots found in mouth of Durban hospital patient

Azaad said his father's troubles started shortly after he was admitted to hospital on 19 June 2019.

"My mother came home from work to find his leg had turned completely black and had become like jelly. He had previously been to the hospital for sores, but we were told to it was not bad, and given antibiotics and sent home."

During admission, Ebrahim said nurses were degrading his family because of the strong smell coming from his father.

"The doctor was excellent, but the nurses were so unprofessional, spraying perfume all over, but not engaging with us."

He said it was decided his father would be operated on as soon as possible. However, days later, no surgery had taken place.

Just five days after being admitted to hospital, Azaad discovered his dad's lip was infected with maggots.

"Maggots were crawling and so active and moving. I lost my mind. I screamed. I couldn't believe that no one had attended to him. The first thing anyone does in the morning is brush their teeth. They couldn't even do that. Not even a guard came into the room. They just isolated my dad in the room because of the smell."

- Compiled by Alex Mitchley 

Read more on:    durban  |  health
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