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The elderly woman who was pleading for help, in a widely shared video taken at Wentworth Hospital, has died.
Rowena Hawkey (69) is seen in the clip seemingly in extreme respiratory anguish, pleading for assistance. Patients are shown lying on the floor and hunched in chairs with no help being administered by medical staff.
Hawkey is shown shouting, “I can’t breathe! Please get me out of here. Hello, hello. Please get this [indistinguishable]. I’m going to die like this. This tube here, please give it to me. I’ve asked everybody to help me… No one wants to help me. nobody. I can’ t live like this,” she cries.
Screenshots from the video showed a patient at the hospital sleeping on the floor.
On Tuesday night, Ms. Hawke's nephew, Allon Pretorius, told witnesses that she had died on Jan. 6, the day the video was taken.He said the family only saw the video after Hockey's death on Monday.
"I couldn't sleep after watching that video last night.I sat awake for a long time because I could see it every time I closed my eyes.
"We are all very distressed by this," he said.He said the family planned to have a private funeral in Durban and possibly video stream for their loved ones in different parts of the world as one of the Hockey sisters is in England and the other is in Port Elizabeth, while he is in Knysna and the others.
"We couldn't travel because of Covid-19 and so on.He said Hawke had lived with her family since she was in high school and had become very close to her.
The Department of health confirmed on Monday that the hospital shown in the clip was Wentworth.
"As a department, we were made aware of the video this past weekend and immediately sent a delegation of senior management from headquarters to ascertain the facts and immediately propose a solution to the problem."
The department said they had established that the patients in the clip were awaiting their Covid-19 results, also known as Patients Under Investigation (PUIs).
"That day,the hospital received an extraordinary number of patients that day.In addition, 11 doctors have been quarantined after testing positive.A further 17 paramedics were on leave as a result of Covid-19.Six nurses are responsible for the accident and emergency department and a short-term ward with 28 beds for seriously ill patients.
They said the “delegation from head office has since assisted the hospital to ensure that patient flow is management properly."
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