Mystery surrounds boy’s hospital death
WHEN Preshantan Kristnasamy, 10, reported to the Netcare uMhlanga Hospital on Thursday morning for a minor hand operation, nobody expected him to leave in a mortuary van. The Grade 5 pupil died in theatre, minutes before his operation.
He had slipped and fallen at home over the weekend.
Preshantan’s parents were too distraught to speak when the Sunday Tribune visited their Phoenix home.
Police have opened an inquest docket and are investigating the circumstances around the boy’s death.
Family spokesperson Benny Maistry, who is also principal at Hopeville Primary School where the young boy was a pupil, said the family was shocked.
“He was going to the theatre for a minor procedural surgery.
“He was first given anaesthetic drugs and a few minutes later the doctor told the family their son had died. The doctor had not even done the operation.
Preshantan complained about pain on Monday, the principal said. The boy’s parents, Collen and Reshma, took him to a private doctor who referred him to an orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital on Thursday.
“He was a happy child although experiencing some pain,” recalled Maistry. “When his parents took him to the hospital for the operation, no one thought he could die, we are really not sure what could have caused his sudden death.
“It’s really shocking, pupils and teachers at the school are also devastated by this,” said Maistry.
Back at the school, candles were lined up and lit in Preshantan’s honour with pictures, cards and messages from fellow pupils.
Preshantan’s class teacher, Shantal Pillay, said: “In class he complained of the pain and said he struggled to write but it did not look serious. I am very heartbroken, it’s unbelievable that he is gone.
“He was open and bubbly, he was loved by everyone.”
His friend and classmate, Cuan Sarvanna, recalled: “We used to eat together during lunch break. He had a good heart. When any of us didn’t have a pen, Preshantan did not mind giving away his one and only pen,” said Sarvanna.
The hospital’s general manager Marc van Heerden said he had met the family and conveyed condolences on its behalf.
“We would like to assure the family that the doctors and nurses did everything humanly possible to save Preshantan’s life.
“We cannot speculate on possible causes and naturally, we will be co-operating fully with the inquest proceeding. Counselling services have been provided to the Kristnasamy family as well as to staff members,” he said.