Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
1 minute read
13 Jan 2021
10:00 am

Distressed woman in Wentworth Hospital dies, family considers legal suit

Siyanda Ndlovu

It is unclear as to when Rowena Hawkey died after she was admitted to the hospital on 4 January.

A screenshot of Rowena Hawkey at Durban's Wentworth Hospital.

The family of an elderly woman, who was seen in a video screaming for help at Durban’s Wentworth Hospital, says it is considering legal options against the KwaZulu-Natal department of health following the news of her death.

It is unclear as to when Rowena Hawkey died after she was admitted to the hospital on 4 January.

Hawkey’s nephew, Allon Pretorius, told East Coast Radio that the family was in contact with some law firms and was still awaiting feedback.

“We are discussing it as a family to decide whether we are going to take legal action,” Pretorius said.

The provincial health department said it was still investigating the matter.

According to the department’s preliminary findings, the patients in the video were awaiting their Covid-19 test results.

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It said 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.”

The department said its delegation from head office had since assisted the hospital to ensure that patient flows were managed properly going forward.

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