Yet another botched birth at a Gauteng state hospital, which left a young boy severely disabled, has resulted in the province’s health MEC being ordered to pay over R18.2 million to a Duduza mother.
In terms of a settlement, confirmed in the High Court in Pretoria, the MEC has to pay out the amount to compensate Jessie Makhoba, of Duduza, who initially instituted a claim of over R23 million for the damages resulting from her son Sipho’s botched birth at the Pholosong hospital in 2006.
The amount, minus legal and related costs and an amount already paid out for past caregiving services, will be administered by a trust on behalf of the boy.
The court last year ruled that medical staff at the Nokuthula Ngwenya Community Health Centre and the Pholosong Hospital had been negligent, resulting in Sipho Makhoba (now 11) suffering from quadriplegic cerebral palsy because of a lack of oxygen during his birth.
The 47-year-old Makhoba was initially admitted to the community health centre to give birth, but was later transferred to Pholosong because of an irregular fetal heartbeat.
She alleged she was never diagnosed or properly treated when she developed low blood pressure during her pregnancy, that the pregnancy was allowed to go on for too long and that the labour process was unnecessarily prolonged and a Caesarean section not performed timeously.
Her baby was only delivered by means of a Caesarean section after three failed attempts at instrumental deliveries, by which time he was already in a severely compromised state.
He developed convulsions and chronic vomiting after his discharge from hospital and was left permanently and severely disabled and in need of fulltime care for the rest of his life.
He will never be able to work or manage his own affairs and needs specialised equipment, therapy, care and schooling because of his severe disabilities.