‘The fall made it worse’

A 44-year-old man who went for a scan to find out what was wrong with his back allegedly ended up with more medical problems than he had bargained for.

Thuthukani Nzimande, of Imbali, had to leave work because of the injuries he has sustained.

He is now suing Jackpersad and Partners, who are a team of specialist diagnostic radiologists, for R3,1 million in damages.

On Monday he testified in the Pietermaritzburg high court in his civil trial. The judge has to decide if the company should be held liable to pay for damages, which will only be determined if the trial goes in his favour.

The company is denying liability.

Nzimande said that on November 14, 2012 he was at work at a courier company, when he lifted something heavy and hurt his back.

Nzimande was employed as a supervisor and his job included packing and driving forklifts.

He said he was in excruciating pain and could not walk.

He went to Medi-Clinic where employees of Jackpersad and Partners were supposed to perform a CT Myelogram procedure on his lumbar spine.

He was feeling dizzy when he was lying down. When he was told to stand up, he said he was still dizzy. Nevertheless he was asked to stand up, he said.

Nzimande said that he stood up, felt dizzy, fell backwards and lost consciousness. He was injured on the back of the head and had to have seven stitches. He added that the radiographer came to him afterwards and apologised. “I said it was fine,” he said.

He then underwent surgery.

The next day he still felt medicated and suffered from light dizziness, he said, adding that his cousin had to fetch him from hospital. He felt the same all day.

The next day he said his headaches got worse, especially when he stood up.

He was told that the recovery period would be three months.

Nzimande said he experienced pain in the back of his neck. He added that in March he called the company and informed the manager that he was still experiencing pain in the neck. He was given an appointment for a free CT scan.

“The images were shown to me. They showed I had a slipped disk on my neck. The images were given to me,” said Nzimande.

Prior to the fall, he said his main complaint was just the pain in his lower back.

The particulars of claim said that he needs surgery due to the fall, which costs about R120 000. He has suffered disability and has lost employment prospects.

Nzimande cannot play soccer, do gardening and assist with household chores, said the claim.

The trial continues.

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