- A 5-month-old baby, Brody Lee Bezuidenhout, died after allegedly being refused medical assistance at two city hospitals
- The family says that they had reportedly been turned away from Grey's and Northdale Hospitals and the infant had died a few hours later
- Doctors who had attempted to resuscitate the baby say that two simple injections was all the baby had needed to survive
A Pietermaritzburg mother's cries for help went ignored as her five-month-old baby fought for his life.
Brody Lee Bezuidenhout had woken up on Saturday night crying and with a very high fever, according to The Witness. His concerned family had rushed him to Grey's Hospital where his vital signs had been checked and fever medication dispensed.
However, Grey's allegedly would not admit him; instead, the family had been handed a referral letter to Northdale Hospital's child clinic.
Upon arrival, the nurse on duty had allegedly been extremely unhelpful towards the family:
“When we got to Northdale, they didn’t even bother looking at the baby. The nurse on duty didn’t even open the referral letter. She was very arrogant with us.”
The nurse had claimed there were no beds available to admit the baby and, according to the family, had asked which patient should give up their bed when they had pleaded for her help:
“We told her we were not asking anyone to give up their bed. We just wanted the nurse to attend to the baby in his mother’s arms.”
The family say that the nurse had refused to help and had instructed them to go to another hospital. They had rushed back to Grey's Hospital, where they were turned away and told to return to Northdale Hospital.
In the meantime, the baby boy's condition had deteriorated. The devastated family said that:
“While we were leaving Grey’s, the baby started turning blue around the lips and he went cold. We thought his fever broke. Little did we know that he was leaving us.”
The family had rushed to Edendale Hospital, where doctors had tried and failed to resuscitate the baby:
“We want to know why nobody would help us. If they had helped him … he would have survived. We are very upset, heartbroken and angry,”
A doctor at Edendale Hospital reportedly informed the family that two shots of penicillin would have saved Brody Lee's life.
Janine Kemp, a family member, says that she can't understand why they had been refused medical attention:
“It’s very heartbreaking. How can they turn a baby away? I understand that they didn’t have beds but why couldn’t they just help him? He didn’t need a bed.”
The KwaZulu-Natal Health Department has yet to respond to the incident.
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