Photo’s not for sensitive viewers.
The provincial health department is investigating an incident at Livingstone Hospital’s oncology unit after the family of a terminally ill Sidwell man found him hanging half off the bed, his face covered in blood.
The family claim they called for 10 minutes for a nurse before someone came to help JC Botha, 57, who is suffering from terminal lung cancer.
However, the department says that when a nurse asked the family to help get him back on the bed, they refused and instead took photos.
Photographs on social media show the man with a bloodied face.
Barry Glass, 56, of Sidwell – who is married to Botha’s sister, Shirley – said the sight of their brother hanging from his bed had moved Botha’s sisters to tears.
“JC is a good man. He worked his fingers to the bone for his family. Then he got lung cancer,” Glass said.
“He has been in Livingstone Hospital for 19 days.
“It has shaken me to see how he is being treated there. He is dying. He can’t breathe.
“The oncology unit is the most beautiful, clean state [facility]I have ever seen, but everyone who works there is rotten to the core.”
Glass said the family had been visiting Botha on Tuesday.
“After visiting hours, the security guard came to tell us we must leave.
“We went outside for a smoke and, at 6pm, we went back as it was visiting hours again.
“That was when we found him,” he said.
“He was lying with his feet on the bed and his head on the floor.
“His face was covered with blood.”
Botha had then been placed in a cot bed with protective railings.
“We called for a nurse for 10 minutes,” Glass said.
“One [told] me: ‘Ag shame, sir, at least he doesn’t need stitches.’
“I can only hope that God will come fetch JC soon. He is really suffering.
Health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo confirmed that Botha had fallen and sustained a cut to his face, and the matter was being investigated.
“At 6.15pm [on Tuesday], a nurse was called by relatives to come and assist because the patient fell out of bed,” he said.
“On entering the room, the nurse found the patient hanging upside down from the bed with blood coming from his face.
“[He] had been nursed on a low bed with side rails, hence half [his] body was still on the bed.
“The patient had tried to slide off the bed. The relatives did not want to assist the nurse on request, but rather took photos.
“The patient was assisted back on the bed and the doctor was called to examine him. He did not sustain any injuries [other than the cut to his face]. The blood was wiped from his face.”
Kupelo said the oncologist had explained that due to Botha’s condition, his blood vessels were distended, which would cause excessive bleeding.
“According to our records, the patient was well cared for.”
Botha lost his battle against cancer and died late last night (24/01/18), his sister-in-law, Cindy Botha, confirmed this morning.