Soweto hospital gives heroic pupil second chance at life by performing its first heart surgery

Tumisang Motsikwa, MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko and Tumisang's mother, Ellen Motsikwa.

Tumisang Motsikwa, MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko and Tumisang’s mother, Ellen Motsikwa.

PHOTO: Supplied/Gauteng Health Department

  • Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital in Soweto made history by performing its first heart surgery.
  • Doctors operated on Grade 12 pupil Tumisang Motsikwa after he was stabbed outside his school in April, while trying to help a pupil who was being mugged.
  • Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko says there are signs that the tide is turning in the public health sector.

Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital (BMDH) in Jabulani, Soweto gave a Grade 12 pupil a second chance when it performed its first heart surgery on him last month.

The pupil, 20-year-old Tumisang Motsikwa, was rushed to the hospital on Freedom Day after he was stabbed outside his school in the act of trying to save a pupil while she was being mugged.

On arrival at the hospital, he was found to be in a critical and unstable condition.

Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, who visited the hospital on Sunday, said his blood pressure was very low and he was bleeding from the chest when he arrived at the facility.

The head of Accident and Emergency at the hospital, Dr Sashriqua Palliam, and her team of nurses and doctors, including Dr Ismail Ebrahim, immediately resuscitated him.

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Due to his condition, he could not be transferred to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.

“This then prompted the BMDH team to operate on him as an emergency. The median sternotomy operation lasted for just over an hour, removing blood clots and suturing the heart muscle.

“Tumisang was kept in the ICU for three days and then released to the surgical ward before finally being discharged home on Friday. I commend the Bheki Mlangeni team for the sterling work they did and for rising to the occasion,” Nkomo-Ralehoko added.

The MEC believes there are signs that the tide is turning in the public health sector.

In the past, she said, the state of the healthcare system in the province was found to be wanting due to ageing or unavailable infrastructure and limited resources, leading to poor patient experience and a decline in public trust.

She said:

However, there are clear signs that we are beginning to turn the corner when it comes to reclaiming what used to be regarded as the jewel of health services in the country.

“Those of you who follow our story can attest that, in as much as we are still grappling with some of the teething issues, there are now emerging glimmers of hope that do not only demonstrate the resilience of the healthcare system, but they go a long way to confirm that the interventions we are making are indeed yielding positive outcomes,” Nkomo-Ralehoko said.

She also had praise for Sebokeng Regional Hospital, Mamelodi Regional Hospital, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and Steve Biko Academic Hospital.

“We are not where we want to be, however, we are taking strides [in] the right direction. We know the people of Gauteng demand more from us, and rightly so. Challenges remain, but the tide is indeed turning,” she said.


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