Verulam family blames hospital for mum’s death

Mala Lutchman in happier times.

What was supposed to be a simple check-up for Farahana Bhagawandi, resulted in her mother’s sudden demise at the Osindisweni Hospital, last Thursday.  The Verulam family is still reeling from shock from the unexpected death of their 44-year-old mother, Mala Lutchman.

Bhagawandi said, “My mum was completely fine when we got to the Osindisweni Hospital last Thursday morning. She accompanied me because I needed to run some tests.”

Bhagawandi added that she had requested the doctor to have a look at her mum’s leg as it was becoming challenging for her to move around recently.  “Little did I realise that a spontaneous decision will cost my mum her life,” said the devastated young woman.

While waiting in the queue at the hospital, both Farahana and her mum, went to see two separate doctors. When Mrs Lutchman returned from the doctor’s room after taking an injection, she had an allergic reaction.  Her eyes started to turn red and her mouth started to contort.

“We went back to the doctor and explained that she had a reaction to the injection. She was then told by the nurses in charge to follow the queue to see the doctor again. It was around that time that I was called into the room to be seen by my doctor. My mum was still in the queue,” said the traumatised daughter.

She added, “Minutes later, I was called by the doctors who were surrounding my mum with machines because she had apparently collapsed while waiting in the queue. I was then told that my  mum had a mild heart attack and that they tried to resuscitate her, but unfortunately she had passed on. Those words will continue to haunt me as I could not believe that all off this happened to her so fast.”

According to Bhagawandi, her mum experienced a similar reaction to Voltaren tablets two years ago and had to be taken to a GP to have it drained.  It was then established that her mum was allergic to Voltaren.

A post-mortem was conducted on Lutchman and the family are awaiting the results to find closure. Her funeral was held at her Redcliffe home in Verulam on Saturday. She leaves behind her husband, two daughters and one son.

Journalists contacted the  spokesman for the KZN Department of Health, Sam Mkhwanazi who said, “Without prejudice, the KZN Department of Health would like to pass its condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. The loss of life is a painful experience. The department is awaiting the outcome of a post mortem, which will assist in determining the cause of death.”

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