Woman who screamed for hospital help dies
A woman seen screaming for help in a viral video filmed at a Durban hospital has died. Her family have since confirmed that they are seeking legal advice on how to handle the matter, according to a report on the IoL site.
Rowena Hawkey (69) was admitted to the Wentworth Hospital last week after she encountered breathing problems and her asthma pump was of no help.
Hawkey's nephew, Allon Pretorius, said Hawkey's daughter, Teresa, left her at the hospital after she was admitted and did not hear from the hospital again.
He said Hawkey died on 6 January, shortly after the video was recorded.
‘Teresa only found out that she had died when she went to visit on Friday. The video of Hawkey screaming that she could not breathe went viral on social media.
‘I can't breathe! Please get me out of here! Please get me out of here! I'm gonna die like this,’ the woman screams.
She beckons to someone to help her and he responds that he cannot move.
‘I've asked everybody to help me. Nobody wants to help me. I can't live like this,’ Hawkey shouts.
At least four other patients are inside the room, two are lying on the floor and a third appears to be asleep. The fourth is the person recording the video. KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu confirmed that an investigation had been launched after her office was made aware of the video.
The department said it had established that the patients in the clip were awaiting their Covid-19 results.
‘On the day in question, the hospital had received a particularly high number of patients. Additionally, 11 doctors were away in isolation, after testing positive. A further 17 nursing staff were off, due to Covid-19. Six nurses were in charge of the Accidents and Emergency Unit, as well as a 28–bedded short stay ward with very sick patients. A report in The Witness quotes Dr Rishigen Viranna, the DA’s KZN spokesperson on health, as saying they were horrified by the video.
‘While we understand that KZN’s healthcare system is extremely stretched, the conditions and lack of patient care are completely unacceptable, inhumane and possibly unconstitutional. Section 27 of the South African Constitution confirms the right to access proper health care.’
Article disclaimer: While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide final legal advice as facts and situations will differ from case to case, and therefore specific legal advice should be sought with a lawyer.