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By Citizen Reporter


Load shedding blamed after three-year-old girl on breathing machine dies in mother’s arms

A Joburg toddler girl died in her mother's arm after on the way to hospital after the inverter for her breathing machine ran out of charge due to load shedding

Neyamiah James was three years and nine months old when she died in her mother’s arms on Thursday, 25 May. The Bromhof family was rushing to hospital after the inverter keeping Neyamiah’s breathing machine on, ran out of charge during load shedding.

The toddler was using a backup cylinder for oxygen but was having trouble with this.

Load shedding tragedy hits Bromhof family

“I tried to nebulise her with a backup battery-operated nebuliser which I had just gotten the day before. It brought her some comfort and she was stable,” the mother Sunera said after the bout of early=morning load shedding

“Lights were restored around 04:15, we put her back on the concentrator she was fine then boom at 08:00 on the dot we go off for maintenance. She started struggling again and my husband and I rushed her to the hospital. She died on the way in my arms. The cylinder was running low and the refill wouldn’t get here on time.”

ALSO READ: City Power to reduce load shedding hours for Joburg

High price of load shedding: ‘Nothing will bring my daughter back’

Neyamiah suffered from a rare form of neurodevelopmental disorder called Woree Syndrome which features drug-resistant epilepsy and global developmental delay.

She said that it was sad that in 2023 people have to live like this. Nothing will bring my daughter back. The damage and PTSD Eskom and load shedding has caused us will stay with us forever.”

Ward 101 councillor Ralf Bittkau also gave his sincerest condolences to the family.

“Having lost a daughter myself recently, this hurts even more,” he said. “I will take this unbelievable failure by our government all the way to the top.”

ALSO READ: https://www.citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/load-shedding/city-power-reduce-load-shedding-hours-joburg/

City Power responds

City Power spokesperson, Isaac Mangena said the Randburg Service Delivery Centre (SDC) staff extends their heartfelt condolences to the family.

“Unfortunately, the impact of load shedding implemented by Eskom is hitting families hard. It is hard even for us when lives get lost because of this national crisis,” Mangena said.

“City Power acknowledges residents’ concerns about recent recurring outages in the Bromhof area and is working on a plan to resolve this problem. On May 25, part of Bromhof had planned maintenance from 08:00 – 16:00, which is necessary to service our equipment and stabilise our network.”

Updates and back-up systems

He added that the entity updates residents with developments during outages.

“In the case of medical conditions, City Power cannot guarantee an uninterrupted power supply, therefore, [it] encourages residents with medical conditions to have back-up system or plans to keep their devices on at all times.”

Questions were sent to Eskom spokesperson Daphne Mokwena May 25. Her response will be published as soon as it is given.

Edited by Cornelia le Roux.
This article originally appeared in Randburg Sun and was republished with permission. Read the original article here.

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