Pearl Kortje, 33, who now lives in Johannesburg, says she came to Atlantis to show her parents her new baby, Micayla.
“We arrived in Atlantis on Tuesday (4 June) and from Wednesday, Micayla wasn’t feeling well. On Thursday (6 June) I took her to Wesfleur Hospital after I noticed her lips were turning blue, her stool was loose, her eyes were dead still and her tears had dried up,” Pearl explains.
When she got to Wesfleur, she says she was shocked by the “nonchalant” attitude of staff.
“They took forever to open a folder. I was taken into the observation room and the girl there was more worried about messages on her phone than examining my child,” says Pearl.
“She told me to wait outside after I told her what was wrong, all while Micayla was crying non-stop.”
The frustrated mother eventually got to see a doctor, but says even he “couldn’t care less”.
“The doctor didn’t even examine her. He tightened her blanket, looked at her and gave me glucose water, Panado syrup and a bit of antibiotic and told me to return in three days if she was not better,” the mom says angrily.
Pearl says her motherly instincts took over and she took her daughter to a private doctor, who immediately referred them to Red Cross Children’s Hospital.
“The doctor was angry when I showed what Wesfleur gave Micayla,” she says.
“At Red Cross, in no time, doctors and professors were around her. They told me had I come in a minute later, she would have died. They could not find a vein because she was so weak. They shaved her hair and inserted the drip into her head. I was hysterical.
“Her heart rate dropped and they had to resuscitate her and immediately rushed her to ICU.”
She says her daughter survived and was discharged last Tuesday, but they would have to remain in Cape Town until August for check-ups.
“There is no excuse for the bad service at Wesfleur Hospital. I could’ve been standing at an open grave now because of them,” Pearl adds.
A spokesperson for Western Cape Government Health, Natalie Watlington, says an investigation will be launched.
“The Western Cape Department of Health can confirm that the patient was seen by a family physician at Wesfleur Hospital. According to our policy, medical care for vulnerable patients, including babies and young children, are prioritised where possible at our facilities.
“Wesfleur Hospital will look further into the matter. We sincerely apologise for the mother’s negative experience.”
She urged Pearl to lay a complaint with the Quality Assurance Manager at the hospital.
“We request patients to follow the correct complaints procedure to enable us to take action and improve our service delivery,” Watlington said.