"I CAN'T LET MY CHILD SLEEP IN PEACE!"
A Philippi mother Alakhe Nomabunga(35)lost her baby boy to cancer two years ago, for her to heal the wounds of the painful loss, she decided to have another baby. The mother of two said she did not know that having another baby would haunt her even worse as she cannot sleep at night.
She told Ezitshisayo that all she wants is to see her eight-month-old daughter awake and she feels uncomfortable to see her baby sleeping. The mother said on the day her child died two years ago, a doctor woke her up and told her that her son had died. She was shocked as well as in denial but when she tried to shake him up and she indeed confirmed that he was dead.
Alakhe said she was in and out of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital between 2017 September and January 2019 when her son Yondela finally died. He had done chemotherapy but couldn’t assist him to win the battle against cancer. The mother alleged that she did not receive counseling after the incident.
“It eats me inside his last picture in my mind is that when he was lying lifeless on the bed. I cannot take it out of my mind. After the incident, it felt like I had accepted that my child has died but the flashbacks only came back when I had another baby. I need help because this affects my mental health badly,” she added.
Now Alakhe does not allow her daughter to sleep as she prefers watching her play.
“When my daughter sleeps I wake her up just for her to play, even when I sleep I wake up in the middle of the night just to change her diapers even when they are not wet. I want to see that she is alive, the picture of my son who died during his sleep is still stuck in my mind,” she added.
Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital’s spokesman Dwayne Evans said they provide patients with counseling. “We know that the loss of a child understandably brings a huge amount of pain and sense of loss for the parents, family, and friends. We offer the parents, or caregivers, of deceased patients support and counseling in the form of pastoral care and social work consultations. We also provide them with information on how to access additional support resources in their communities,” said Evans.
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