Karlien van Jaarsveld on her daughter needing ICU care with no beds available

'She needs a bed in the ICU but nothing is available'

Karlien van Jaarsveld is heartbroken that her daughter Elah is in ICU.
Karlien van Jaarsveld is heartbroken that her daughter Elah is in ICU.
Image: Karlien van Jaarsveld/ Instagram

Afrikaans singer Karlien van Jaarsveld has joined hundreds of people who have experienced first-hand the pressure on health facilities due to Covid-19. 

This after the singer's daughter Elah needed ICU care for a serious stomach complaint but there were no beds available.

Karlien took to Instagram to share a series of photos and videos of her daughter in hospital due to what doctors believe is a stomach bug. Elah has a pre-existing condition with her portal vein, which can make a stomach ailment dangerous.

“This round my heart hangs to shreds in the hospital room, the corridors and in front of the theatre door as Elah lies with fear in her eyes of every doctor and nurse who makes their round.

“She just stares straight ahead of her, and tears run freely down her cheeks without a word or sound coming out of her mouth. Elah goes to school for the first time and unfortunately something that is just a stomach virus for a normal child can endanger her life.”

Karlien added that Elah got sick after attending school for 10 days. 

“She was hot and vomited while I was standing in a shop with a trolley full of things, just after her brother Eliah spilt yoghurt on my takkies, always nice with many children in a grocery store.

“When Elah vomits, I always know it's potentially dangerous, due to the already high pressure on her portal vein. I just left my trolley and went to a doctor who knows her condition. Dr says it may be a stomach virus. She had a fever and vomited again the next day but still no blood.”

The singer explained that at 6.15pm, just after she give her daughter medicine for nausea, she started vomiting blood.

“Fresh blood. My husband and I know the drill, it also happened in Dec 2018. We grabbed Elah, ran to the car and tried to get her to the doctor and the hospital as soon as possible, where they give her anaesthesia every three to six months and bind her veins for portal hypertension and thrombosis.

“At the hospital I stand with bloodied sneakers and a brave girl in my arms. Everyone jumps to help and starts following protocol until her doctor arrives. She needs a bed in the ICU but nothing is available.”

The worried mother explained that though there were no beds, the hospital team improvised.

“They make a plan to turn a room in the paediatric ward into an ICU room with an ICU sister looking after her. Elah gets two drips, one should stop the internal bleeding and the other gives her fluid and antibiotics.”

After a few lengthy posts, Karlien thanked all those who were with her as she penned down her daughter's journey in the hospital.

“I want to say thank you to everyone who watches and prays with me and is awake!”

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