‘THEY MUST PAY!'
YOU South Africa|5 August 2021
Families of babies who had their arms amputated as a result of alleged negligence at an Mpumulanga hospital speak out about their anguish and anger
LESEGO MKHIZE

IT’S like a nightmare she can’t wake up from. Her beautiful baby boy will spend the rest of his life physically compromised as a result of what she claims is medical negligence.

Dineo Mathebula’s two-month-old son, Sinemphilo, had been admitted to hospital for diarrhoea and she presumed he’d be treated then discharged. Instead the little boy is still in hospital a month later.

His arm had to be amputated to save his life after an alleged incident of negligence cut off the blood supply to his limb. Dineo (18), of Delmas in Mpumalanga, is in hospital with her son after collapsing from the stress of the ordeal and is too distraught to speak to YOU.

Her sister, Lerato, says the young mother is beside herself. “Dineo had to consent to the amputation. She had to give permission for something that would change her baby’s life – that’s a choice no mother should ever have to make.”

The hospital in question is Bernice Samuel Hospital in Delmas – and Dineo isn’t the only mom with a story to tell about her child’s alleged treatment.

Mbali Sweleni’s baby girl, Lwandle, also needed to have her arm amputated after alleged negligence at the hospital. Both families are now planning to sue the department of health for R30 million each and have appointed a lawyer to forge ahead with the matter.

DINEO’s ordeal began on 18 June when the single mother took her baby to her local clinic and then to Bernice Samuel Hospital after he developed diarrhoea.

He was placed on a drip because he was dehydrated and the doctor who administered the drip put a rubber band on the baby’s left arm, Lerato says.

“Dineo was in a different room while he was being treated, and it was only in the early hours of the morning when she was changing him that she saw the rubber band was still on his arm.”

She called her family at home, saying Sinemphilo’s arm was discoloured and swollen because of the rubber band.

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