Dad forced to rummage through dead bodies

According to Cape Town’s Cape Times Newspaper,  Marere and his wife, Mejury Muchemei, were looking forward to the birth of their second child, a son, when Merjury went into labour on Wednesday. A friend took her to Coronation hospital at 1pm and at 10am on Thursday doctors performed a Caesarean on her.

Merjury says the baby was taken away and she was not given permission to see it. At 1pm on Thursday nurses apparently told her that the baby had died and again they denied her permission to see her child. Globally best practice patient care of mothers who lose their babies, especially full-term infants, is to let them see and hold the child.

Marere was unaware of what had happened when he arrived to see his wife and child at 5pm on Thursday. He was told visiting hours were at 8pm but expressed concern that he had not yet seen his wife or child. Neither was she on hospital or ward registers and so he began going ward to ward looking for her.

Finally he found her but security guards arrived and said he could not see his wife or baby and had to leave. A friend, who is a member of the same Sandton church as Marere and who is a Johannesburg business executive protested to Matron Shaik who was on duty.

They were then allowed to see Ms Muchemei and it was only after 10pm after repeated pleas that she finally said the baby had died of asphyxia (usually when a cord becomes knotted around a baby’s neck during a long birth) and called someone called Shane from the mortuary to escort them to see the baby.

Marere said they were shown into a walk-in cold room with approximately 40 white packets sealed with masking tape. He was told babies were in those and he and his two friends would have to go through each packet to find his baby – which they began doing. However, after they had gone through about 20 or so packets, the other friend found a register, they went through it and his baby was about the sixth from the end of the list and so they found the packet his baby was in.

His friend said, "He was a perfect little boy with lots of hair." They then had to seal the packet and close the fridge door. Outside the dad broke down.

He has written to Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi and Gauteng MEC Qedani Mahlangu protesting the treatment and care of his wife at Coronation and to the hospital’s insensitive treatment of him and his wife. Cape Times