Wiedaad Leeman, 54, passed away last month of cancer.
Her family say their mother suffered for two years after doctors at Groote Schuur allegedly misdiagnosed her on a number of occasions.
Her bereaved daughter, Shana Fredericks, says Wiedaad was treated like an animal.
“In 2016, my mother was diagnosed with leukaemia but doctors weren’t sure if it was leukaemia or hepatitis A, because she was yellow.
“She received regular extractions of bone marrow from her hip and back as well as lumbar punctures. She then went into remission after less than a year,” Shana explains.
“In January last year, she complained of backache and was diagnosed with arthritis, and they gave her Tramadol and Napamol (for the pain).
“In May, she had a stroke, her mouth went skew, but after waiting for 13 hours, she was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy (where muscles on one side of your face become weak or paralysed) and no further explanations from doctors.”
She says last April, her mom was still in pain and was taken back to GSH.
“My mom was crying. She complained about a lump on her spine but was diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome (a shingles outbreak that affects the facial nerve near the ears).”
Shana says they asked for a scan, but nothing was done.
“She was on 40 tablets a day, morphine every four hours and at times seven Tramadol and Napamol pills for pain.
“The lump got bigger and there were knobs on her chest. She told staff, but was ignored.”
In June, Wiedaad was rushed to Victoria Hospital where doctors requested GSH to do a number of tests, including an MRI scan.
“Victoria confirmed my mother had had several strokes. She was transferred to GSH and they kept giving her Tramadol and Napamol.
“She said, ‘I don’t feel like living anymore. I’m in pain and these people are treating me like an animal’.”
Shana says, to their shock, a doctor at GSH informed them 80 percent of their mom’s body had been infected by multiple myeloma (blood cancer).
“He told us it’s the most curable but most painful cancer and it can lay dormant if not treated correctly. High calcium levels explained the pain, as her bones were brittle and breaking.”
She says although treatment was started last November, Wiedaad lost all feeling in her legs and could no longer control her bowel and urinary functions.
This time doctors at GSH found a tumour on her spine which had caused paralysis.
“The tumour ate her spine. After a month, she came home and begged us not to send her back to GSH. She had so many infections, it was like her body was rotting from the inside,” adds Shana.
Western Cape Health’s Deputy Communications Director, Mark van der Heever, said a meeting will be arranged to clarify matters for the family.
“Specialists at the hospital acknowledge it was a very complex case and as such will arrange a meeting with the family to discuss the various medical investigations and treatment Mrs Leeman received,” he says.
“They can ask the treating specialists for any clarity they might need or address concerns they might have.”