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South Africans were shocked by a viral video which showed a woman lying on a hospital bed in the Wentworth Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, begging for her asthma pump…

In the video, several other people can be seen. They are lying on the floor, attached to machines, and one person who was covered in a blanket was thought to be dead.

The person behind the camera is thought to have been one of the other patients in the ward and was heard telling the woman that he was also unable to move.

The footage went viral, prompting Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, to condemn the filming of patients within the care of the department.

“This is indecent, and tantamount to the violation of patients’ inalienable right to privacy and dignity.”

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The footage did, however, lead to an investigation into the state of care at the facility.

According to Simelane-Zulu, the hospital was under huge strain, saying that 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-bed short stay ward with very sick patients.”

Desperate patients cry out for help at Wentworth Hospital in viral video

A delegation from the department has since assisted the hospital to ensure that patient flow is managed properly.

For at least one patient, however, this intervention is too late.

The woman from the viral footage has sadly passed away. Her name was Rowena Hawkey from Berea. Her nephew, Allon Pretorius spoke to East Coast Radio saying that his 67-year-old aunt was taken to hospital last week after experiencing trouble breathing.

Her daughter wasn’t able to get any information from the hospital and after returning two days later, was told that her mother had died from a heart attack.

The family were shocked to see the viral video, realising it was Rowena in the footage.


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