Disfigured Limpopo boy succumbs
THE Limpopo boy who suffered from retinoblastoma, a rare form of cancer, has died.
Sowetan yesterday ran a story highlighting five-year-old Hlayisani Ngobeni's plight. The boy, from Tshimbupfe village near Thohoyandou, had been bedridden since early June.
The provincial department of health had sent an official to go and fetch the boy and take him to Elim Hospital for treatment and possible referral to the Mankweng Hospital, where he was initially operated on.
Sowetan learnt that on arrival at the boy's home yesterday morning the official realised that the boy's condition was critical and needed urgent attention.
The official summoned an ambulance that took the boy to a nearby clinic. Nurses at the clinic fixed a drip and oxygen mask to the boy to help him breathe.
Department spokeswoman Sinenhlanhla Gumede said the boy was unable to breathe when he arrived at the clinic.
"Despite efforts by nurses at the clinic the boy succumbed to the disease," Gumede said yesterday.
She said they were saddened by his death and had conveyed their condolences to the boy's family.
The boy's mother, Lizzy Baloyi, was too distraught to talk yesterday.
But family spokeswoman Shonisani Mufamadi said they were saddened by the boy's death.
"We had high hopes after Sowetan's visit and thought our wishes for the boy to be healed would become a reality. And now this," Mufamadi said yesterday.
She said of grave concern was that the poverty-stricken family could not afford burial costs since no one was working. The family relies on a pension grant that the dead boy's great-grandmother receives.
The boy's father disappeared in 2009, after allegedly disputing his son' paternity.
The boy had been breathing through his mouth after the re-appearance of a growth that grew bigger, disfiguring his left eye, ear and nose.
Hospital records in his mother's possession show that retinoblastoma, has minimal treatment options. - firstname.lastname@example.org