The elderly parents of a would-be doctor, who has been physically and mentally disabled for 16 years, are suing the Department of Health for the alleged negligence of King Dinuzulu (formerly King George) Hospital after she was admitted complaining of a headache and exhibiting jaundice-like symptoms back in 2000.

A Sunday Tribune report says Mahalutchmee and Soobiah Naidoo once pinned their hopes for a better life on their daughter Deavashini graduating from the University of KZN Medical School, where she was in her first year at the time of her illness. Now her mother, Mahalutchmee, has claimed that the ‘negligence’ of the hospital’s nursing and medical staff in diagnosing and caring for Deavashini, is what left their daughter physically and mentally disabled.

Naidoo recently instructed law firm Sigamoney Inc to issue a letter of demand outlining the basis of a R40m damages claim to the department. The payout demand also provided for the past 16 years during which Naidoo (72) and her 78-year-old husband took on the role of caregivers to Deavashini. Now the elderly couple, both with ailments of their own, have concerns about Deavashini’s future well-being, especially when they die.

Full Sunday Tribune report (subscription needed)