By Anita Dangazele
The family of a young woman from Nelson Mandela Bay who was admitted to hospital for suspected appendicitis, and later succumbed to death due to sepsis, wants the Eastern Cape Department of Health brought to book.
The late Andiswa Vulani had complained of an acute stomach ache and was taken to Livingstone Hospital on 22 March.
Upon arrival, the 26-year-old was diagnosed with appendicitis, operated on and emerged bearing a long cut down her abdomen.
Her cousin Bulelwa Gqokoma said Vulani was in the hospital for about a month and during that period her wound became septic.
“She was worried and wanted some answers from the treating doctors, but [claimed] no one was doing anything,” Gqokoma said.
Gqokoma said her late cousin had sent a WhatsApp voice note while she was in the hospital, expressing her frustration over the condition of her wound.
In the voice note shared by Gqokoma, Vulani can be heard saying: “The doctor didn’t say anything to me or tell me anything,
“I didn’t know who to speak to … I’ll switch off this phone for a while because I think it’s also causing me stress and I’m not getting better.”
After months of intense pain after the operation late in March, Vulani succumbed to her wounds on Saturday, 4 June at her home in the township of Wells Estate.
Vulani was a student at Port Elizabeth College and was living with her father and her brother at the time of her passing.
“Her father is not working; he is a pensioner with an amputated leg, and the brother is also not working so they do not even have the means to bury her,” Gqokoma said.
“We also need closure and to understand why [her life was allegedly] gambled with like that.”
Eastern Cape Department of Health spokesperson Yonela Dekeda confirmed that Vulani had indeed been treated at Livingstone Hospital.
“The department can confirm that the patient in question was brought to Livingstone Hospital on March 22,” Dekeda said.
“Recommendations from the treating doctor required that the patient be admitted on the same day for further management of her condition.”
Dekeda added that after a series of tests by a team of doctors, Vulani was finally transferred to a TB hospital on 13 April.
“For confidentiality reasons, the department is not in a position to discuss the details of her condition,” she said.
“The department will investigate the allegations [made by the family],” she said.
“In principle, once the facts have been determined, we redress complaints that are received so that the families can have a full understanding of their loved one’s condition and prognosis.”
Pictured above: The late Andiswa Vulani in happier times
Image source: Supplied