A young man from Middelburg in Mpumalanga is in the Life Midmed hospital after suffering serious burns on his and his twin brother’s 20th birthday.
Renier Fourie and his brother, Reinhard, were destroying bamboo with petrol-fuelled fire on Monday when he suffered serious burns.
“It was such a shock. It was just after dark when they called to say they were taking Renier to hospital,” Kathleen Snyman, the young men’s aunt, told YOU on Wednesday.
Renier has been in the high-care unit since Monday.
Kathleen says they’re relieved that Renier is doing better as doctors have given the green light to move him to a regular ward on Wednesday.
Renier and Reinhard had been celebrating their 20th birthday on Monday 13 April amid the national lockdown. They were together when the accident happened at their home at Eskom’s Arnot power station, about 50km from Middelburg.
The brothers had been planning a braai that evening for their birthday. But first they headed to the open field behind their property, Kathleen says.
“They wanted to burn bamboo that had been lying behind the house. They tried setting it alight with oil but that didn’t work. When Renier threw some petrol on the flame, the can or bottle in his hand caught alight and exploded,” she says.
Renier’s family took him to hospital themselves after neighbours with first-aid knowledge first stabilised him at the scene.
Kathleen’s sister and the young men’s mother, Henriette, told Kathleen that Renier suffered burns on his legs, arms and neck. His hair had also been singed off.
“My sister told me this morning the doctor was with him early to check on his wounds. He has second-degree burns. There’s a chance he’ll be discharged this week but first they have to clean and debride the wounds. Once he’s discharged, he’ll have to go back every fifth day for wound care,” Kathleen says.
The family is grateful that Renier seems to be doing okay given the circumstances.
“We’re very relieved. For a child of that age . . . He has his whole life ahead of him. He and his brother are very close. They’re best friends and do everything together.”