Mys­tery sur­rounds boy’s hos­pi­tal death

The Sunday Independent - - NEWS - Siphelele.buthelezi@inl.co.za

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.

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