Roodepoort toddler in a coma after freak swing accident

By Jana Smit
20 July 2016

At first two-year-old Juané's parents didn't realise the extent of her injuries. Then she started vomiting.

A two-year-old girl from Roodepoort in Gauteng is still in a medically induced coma after a swing accident ten days ago.

Juané Bothma’s father Jaco, said on Tuesday that their daughter’s body temperature was raised slightly so that her body could rest.

The toddler was hurt after attending church on Sunday 10 July while staying at a lodge with her mother, Jacqueline, and three brothers. “Jacqueline drank coffee and afterwards she pushed Juané and her brother on the swing for a bit,” said Jaco.

At the time of the incident Jacqueline and the children were staying at the family’s holiday home in Rooiberg close to Thabazimbi in Limpopo while Jaco was at their family home in Roodepoort.

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He was finishing up at work and planned to join his family on the Tuesday.

Jaco says that Jacqueline called the children inside to have something to drink. “Juané got off of her swing and ran in front of her brother.” The swing hit her against her head and cracked her skull.

Initially Jacqueline didn't realise the extent of her daughter's injuries. Then her little girl started vomiting.

Jacqueline immediately raced her daughter to a hospital in Thabazimbi where staff said her condition was serious. Later that day Juané was taken by helicopter to Netcare Garden City Hospital in Johannesburg.

Shortly after their arrival, a paramedic told the doctor that the little girl would not survive, but the doctor only informed the family of the prediction four days later.

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After an emergency operation to remove parts of Juané’s skull and relieve the pressure on her brain, she was put into an induced coma.

The past week was a critical time period, which the little girl spent fighting for her life in the intensive care unit of the hospital. “Your child is laying there and you don’t know what to expect,” says Jaco, describing the first few days.

But the couple have continued to believe a miracle will save their child. “If it wasn’t for God, I don’t know if she’d be here now,” says Jaco.

He says that their friends have all been very supportive and have been helping and bringing food. “We know that there are thousands of people praying for us.”

Things have since improved. “We believe she’s out of the danger zone,” said Jaco on Tuesday after a doctor informed them that there is a little liquid on her brain but it is expected to clear up on its own.

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