NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper on April 24, 2014.
What was meant to be a standard delivery due date, turned into a nightmare and resulted in a brain damaged disabled child for 34-year-old mother Emmah Motsoene.
Motsoene is taking matters into her own hands three years after her horror experience by suing the Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria for a 14-hour labour that resulted son, Musa Sindani, being brain damaged.
With tears in her eyes, Motsoene shared her story with The Citizen. It all started one cold morning in July at a clinic in Moreleta Park after Motsoene experienced immense pain. “They told me that the baby is coming, so I went directly to Tshwane District Hospital at 11am,” said Motsoene.
Upon arrival she was checked and told her baby “is still far from coming” but allocated a bed to lie on. Three hours later the “rude” nurse helping Motsoene told her to go home and come back when her pain increased.
While Motsoene was waiting outside of the hospital gates, her water broke. “A sister from the hospital saw me and brought a wheelchair to take me back into the hospital.” Motsoene was then sent to the Steve Biko Academic Hospital just 800 metres away.
Motsoene endured six more hours of being told not to push as the baby wasn’t ready. “I could feel that my baby wanted to come out,” said Motsoene.
At midnight she saw a doctor for the first time after an intern nurse called for help. “He was very rough, he climbed onto my stomach with his knees on my forehead and told me to push because the baby was breeched.
“I wanted to die, I felt so much pain for my child – I just wanted him to come out,” said Emmah.
By 1.30am Motsoene had given birth, but was told her child didn’t get enough oxygen during labour and “something will be wrong with him”. When she saw him later that day, attached to an oxygen tank, she was told he was brain damaged.