A year after son’s death mother still awaits answers

Windhoek-The mother of Simeon Tangi-Tate Boysen is still looking for answers from Katutura State Hospital over what she alleges was negligence by medical staff, as a result of their failure to make an early and correct diagnosis that could have saved her son.

Erikka Ndeyanale lodged a formal complaint with Katutura Hospital on March 10, following the passing of Boysen in August 2016. Her complaints centre on the medical treatment her son received at the hospital, which she believes was inadequate, not timely and may have contributed to his death.

She says the hospital is yet to respond to her complaints. The Ministry of Health did not respond when contacted for comment.

Ndeyanale, told New Era that for nine years her son suffered from continuous abdominal pains and all the hospital gave him was Panado. Until my son passed on at home on August 17, I feel the hospital worked with negligence that led to my son's death, said Ndeyanale.

The beareaved mother is emphatic that at one point the medical personnel at the hospital had told her everything was normal after taking x-rays of her son.

It was only when Boysen was 10 years old that doctors at Katutura Hospital said he needed to go for sonar scan at Windhoek Central Hospital, but Ndeyanale was told that the hospital was full and that they should wait six months.

Unemployed Ndeyanale collected money and went to a private doctor for the sonar scan, who recommended that Boysen undergo an operation. She says she immediately took the results from the private doctor to the medical staff at public hospital, but they did not act on time.

Boysen eventually underwent an emergency operation, a day after the mother had returned from hospital with news that the boy was fine. He had been complaining of pain and was moaning the whole night.

The next day Boysen underwent the operation, in the course of which the doctors detected that his big intestine was twisted around the small intestine.

Ndeyanale explained that the intestines are normally lined with small veins that supply blood and during the time of his illness the boy's intestinal veins stopped working and the intestines became non-functional and turned black.

The hospital cut out 48 cm of his 68cm long intestine, leaving Boysen with only 20cm of his long intestine. The boy died three months later at their home in Havana informal settlement.

Ndeyanale says the first question the doctor and nurse asked her was why she waited until it was so late to bring her son for treatment. She says this was strange, because there are records to show that they have been bringing the child to hospital since the age of four with complaints of abdominal pain.

One of the doctors spoke in English and the nurse translated in Oshiwambo and told me that when they operated on him they saw he had a major problem at birth, she alleged.

After the operation, Boysen spent about nine days in hospital before he was discharged. As from that day on he never got back on his feet and after consuming food it wouldn't last in his body. He would regurgitate and excrete the food as is, Boysen said.

Ndeyanale says she took the child back to hospital five times for follow-ups, but doctors assured her nothing more could be done. She also claims that after the operation no further tests were conducted on Boysen to see if his intestine was growing back or not, like the doctors said it would.

Ndeyanale now wants to know why the x-ray machines failed to pick up the condition of her son earlier when they went to hospital for treatment, and were instead told that everything was fine.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia