A 17-year-old orphan from Eldorado Park is traumatised and in pain after public hospitals failed to do surgery for his broken shoulder for more than two weeks.
James (not his real name) is a promising football player who broke his collar bone on 21 April. He was rushed to South Rand Hospital where they arranged for him to be transferred to Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital. He spent many hours waiting to be treated, and doctors there said he would have to have surgery.
Last week on Friday he was woken up at 2 am in the morning at CMJH and transferred to Edenvale Hospital which had not been notified that he was coming. They told him to go him this week, and now doctors say he may only be able to have surgery in 4 to 6 weeks.
It’s a shocking saga of poor treatment for a young man who is trying to make a success of his life but is missing school and feeling miserable because of the callous way he has been treated.
Mrs Sam Toweel Moore
A friend and mentor, Mrs Sam Toweel Moore, has posted the following on her Facebook page:
Solutions please : I’m desperate for some guidance if anyone could advise me I would be eternally grateful. On the 21st April a young Growing Champion broke and displaced part of his collar bone. He was raced to the closest hospital – South Rand Hospital and they arranged for him to be relocated to Johannesburg General Hospital as they do not specialise in orthopaedics. They called to ensure there was a bed for him. We were told to check in at Trauma Casualty. So after 5 hours with no pain medication we headed to the new hospital. We waited from midnight to 4:30 am with no assistance. I finally overheard the doctors speaking about “the clavicle “. I explained I’m with the “clavicle ” and as he is under 18 and has lost both parents I would like to be consulted re his care. The doctors said looking as his X rays they would have to do surgery and he will be checked into a ward, I should go home. I called the next day and they couldn’t find him on the admissions list and was told maybe it wasn’t yet updated. I called again at 10 am and was told the same thing. I asked them to put me through to casualty. There he was still sitting bent over in his dirty football clothes with nowhere to rest. He hadn’t been fed either. I called PRO and asked that he be provided with food and a bed as we had checked for a bed before arriving. They said they couldn’t help. At 5pm that day I found him without even a sheet or blanket to keep him warm sitting on the same bench in casualty. He had received NO food or care from the hospital. I pleaded his case and was promised again he would move into the ward. His Coach washed him and we fed him. He spent another night and half a day sitting on the bench watching trauma clients come in. FINALLY he moved to a ward. He was promised surgery every day of the second week of admission, and not fed so he could go to theatre, except he never did. Missing 2 weeks of schooling. On Friday morning he was woken up at 2am told they can’t offer him a bed any longer do they transferred him to Edenvale hospital where he sat in casualty until 7:30 am before getting a bed. Eventually the doctor saw him and told him to go home and rewritten on Monday. When he returned today they told him he may be able to have surgery in 4-6 WEEKS. Will it actually happened? This treatment is inhumane and he has faced so much rejection and unkindness I have to believe kindness is bound to come his way. Please help me help him. Does anyone know of any way I can get this young man who doesn’t have income help? Quickly?
I have advised Mrs Moore to write directly to Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in this matter.
This young man has been let down by our public hospital system and deserves prompt treatment instead of possibly waiting several weeks to get his shoulder fixed. He worries that without proper treatment he may never be able to play football again.
I hope that his case prompts action by the Gauteng Health Department to improve service in our hospitals.
Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222