A tragic incident unfolded as a three-year-old girl with a rare neurodevelopmental disorder, Woree Syndrome, lost her life when the inverter powering her breathing machine ran out of charge during a period of load shedding. The condition caused drug-resistant epilepsy and global developmental delay, making the continuous support of the machine critical for her survival. According to reports, the child passed away in her mother's arms on Thursday, highlighting the devastating consequences of power outages on vulnerable individuals.
The family, residing in Bromhof, rushed the child to the hospital after the inverter failed to recharge fully due to planned outages for maintenance following load shedding. The mother attempted to alleviate her daughter's condition using a backup battery-operated nebulizer, which provided temporary relief. However, four hours after electricity was restored, another power outage occurred, exacerbating the already dire situation.
City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena acknowledged the hardships faced by families due to load shedding and expressed condolences for the loss of life caused by the national crisis. He assured residents of Bromhof that the utility was working on resolving the recurring outages and developing plans to stabilize the network. However, Mangena also emphasized that City Power could not guarantee uninterrupted power supply, particularly for residents with medical conditions, urging them to have backup systems or alternative plans to ensure continuous operation of essential devices.
Ward councillor Ralf Bittkau shared his deep sorrow over the incident, extending heartfelt condolences to the grieving parents and family. Having experienced personal loss himself, Bittkau expressed understanding of the pain they were enduring. He criticized Eskom, stating that load shedding and power outages had pushed him to his limit. Bittkau called for urgent action, asserting that if the president failed to address the issues at hand, he too would bear responsibility. The tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the profound impact of power disruptions on individuals' lives and the urgent need for sustainable solutions.
The family is currently making preparations for the funeral, which is scheduled to take place on May 31st, as they cope with the immense loss and navigate the aftermath of this devastating event.