When a 30-year-old Mthatha woman went to hospital to give birth, she had no idea that in the next few days she would have a near-death experience and a hysterectomy.
Tabisa Ndongeni, 30, had her womb removed at the weekend after her bladder was allegedly earlier stitched to her intestines and womb during a Caesarean-section.
“I felt like I was going to die,” said Tabisa Ndongeni from her hospital bed at Nelson Mandela Central Hospital yesterday.
Ndongeni went under the knife on April 10 and her healthy baby girl was delivered through C-section at Mthatha General Hospital.
Baby Nambitha weighed 3.5kg.
What should have been a happy moment for the first-time mother quickly turned into what she described as a near-death experience.
Two days after giving birth, Ndongeni experienced dizzy spells. Her body started to swell – first her feet, then legs, face and stomach.
Her family said she had gone for a scan but doctors were baffled by what was wrong with the new mother.
Ndongeni said she was in excruciating pain and had difficulty holding her newborn baby. Despite the pain, she managed to breastfeed little Nambitha.
Last Thursday Ndongeni was transferred to the Nelson Mandela Central Hospital where she underwent a second operation on Saturday.
“I was told that my bladder had been stitched together with the womb. That’s what caused all the problems. This also affected parts of my intestines.
“They have now removed my womb and parts of the affected intestines,” said Ndongeni.
The 30-year-old now has a pipe coming from her abdominal area to drain liquid from inside her stomach and bladder.
Provincial health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said no formal complaint had been received by the department regarding Ndongeni’s ordeal.
“The department will do anything in its power to treat the patient. I cannot comment on the allegations until a clinical report has been made,” said Kupelo.
When the Daily Dispatch visited her in hospital yesterday, Ndongeni said she felt better than before, when she was in excruciating pain and unable to eat.
She said since giving birth, she had been unable to relieve herself.
Asked about the hysterectomy, an emotional Ndongeni said: “I am devastated that my womb has been removed and I cannot bear children anymore.”
Ndongeni’s mother, Nosithile Tshona, said she did not know what she would have done if she lost her daughter.
The distraught Tshona was forced to move from her village in Ngqeleni to Ndongeni’s house in Ngangelizwe to look after the newborn baby.
“Every time my phone rang, I thought it was someone bringing me bad news.
“I do not know what to do. She is in so much pain. I hate seeing her like that.”
Relative Gcobisa Mbambeni, who visited Ndongeni on several occasions, said her condition was so bad that the only thing they could do as friends and family was to pray for her.
“We thought anything could happen. All we did was pray for her. We are glad that she is feeling better now and the colour of her skin has cleared.”
Tshona said she hoped Ndongeni’s hospital stay would not be prolonged. —[email protected]