CLAIMS: Dad Jerome Thys with Jay-Jay, his one-year-old who passed away in hospital
The death of a one-year-old boy in Red Cross Children's Hospital was as a result of negligence, his parents claim. But the provincial health department says the treatment of little Jay-Jay Thys was “managed properly”.

Deputy Director for Communications for the Western Cape Health department, Mark van der Heever, said: “We express our sincere sympathy to the Thys family and their friends on the sad passing of their son.”

Jay-Jay’s parents Chantay and Jerome Thys, of Pelican Park, are devastated after the toddler, one half of a set of twins, died last Thursday; he had had a seizure and was declared brain dead minutes later.

Jay-Jay was first treated for a dog bite in December at Retreat Hospital.

Mom Chantay, 19, says her son was stitched up and sent home.

She says he never fully recovered and he was sent to Red Cross in early May, to be treated for TB Meningitis.

An angry Chantay says she told the medical staff this at both hospitals, but no one would listen to her.

She says: “I told them to look at the dog bite. I told them it was not TB Meningitis as they said, but every doctor said it was not possible.

Hulle het hulle eie goed opgemaak. They [treated him for] what they thought it was; they weren’t even 100 percent sure it was TB Meningitis. Now it’s too late and my child is dead.”

Van der Heever said doctors were adamant their initial diagnosis was treated properly.

“Upon admission to Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Jay-Jay was unwell and was seen by a team of neurologists and the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) team,” he says.

“A CT scan of his brain was performed and the findings were in keeping with the medical experts’ initial diagnosis and was commenced on the appropriate treatment. The neurologist team is of the opinion that Jay-Jay was managed appropriately and are sad to learn of his passing.”

But Chantay says this information contradicts that given her by the doctor who had switched off the machines on 4 May.

“He did not attend to Jay-Jay, but he cried when he switched the machines off and left the room,” she explains.

“He’s the one who called me saying Jay-Jay died because of the dog bite. They didn’t want to listen to me as his mother, now they want to say sorry? I want answers for my child’s death!”