August 16, 2013
Child dies after circumcision at hospital
by Vuyo Mkize
Johannesburg - “They killed my child.” These were the pained words of a Germiston father whose son had to be taken off life support on Wednesday evening after he was declared brain dead by two surgeons following a medical circumcision operation a week ago.
Reggie Mokalapa, 39, took his four-year-old son, Gugulethu, to Medicross Germiston for what doctors had assured him would be a “less than two-hour” procedure last Tuesday.
... Mokalapa went to wait outside in their car and, minutes later, his wife Wilhemina joined him.
... An hour later, Wilhemina asked the sister on duty to wake their son as Mokalapa needed to get to work.
“It was at that point they realised he wasn’t breathing,” Mokalapa said.
“His heart had stopped.
“It took them a while to resuscitate him, around 10 to 15 minutes, but eventually his heart started beating again.”
Gugulethu was then transferred to Netcare Sunward Park Hospital, where the attending doctor expressed extreme concern over his condition.
... doctors needed to cool Gugulethu’s body so that if there was any injury to the brain, it did not spread further.
“They did that over four days, and on the fourth day, they started warming him up.... On Sunday, monitors showed that Gugulethu’s brain was not responding, and on Monday he was declared brain dead.
On Wednesday, a second doctor confirmed that Gugulethu was brain dead and the family elected for doctors to take him off life support.
“We are always advised to circumcise our children young, and we did this so that he’d be okay in future. Unfortunately, we took him to a slaughterhouse,” said Mokalapa.
He added that all he wanted from Medicross was acknowledgement of what they did wrong.... Medicross director Dr Oelie van Schalkwyk on Thursday said the doctors and staff at the Germiston centre were “devastated” by what happened to Gugulethu.
“Gugulethu was admitted to Netcare Garden City Hospital after complications following his procedure, and everything humanly possible had been done by the doctors and nurses at Germiston medical centre to assist him.
“We are unable to speculate on the possible factors which may have contributed until it has been fully investigated and conclusively established precisely what transpired.