Cape Town - They lost their only child. But had it not been for an attack on the ambulance that was transporting him to hospital, their 7-year-old son might have been saved.
Hours earlier, Faigon and his parents, Nicola Wildschut and Chailon Mitchell, were involved in a head-on collision in Lansdowne Road after driving from Manenberg.
Faigon was transported to the Delft Day Hospital with head injuries, awaiting an ambulance which, according to the parents, arrived four hours later. It was then a race against time to get him to Red Cross Memorial Hospital.
But the ambulance drove over bricks strewn across Borcherds Quarry Road. The ambulance made its way to the nearest garage.
It was then that the robbers struck.
“The three guys took the driver’s phone and tried to rob us as well. I got so angry that I smacked one of the guys with my phone,” Faigon’s father said.
Wildschut said: “We stood waiting for another ambulance to come, but when they arrived there were a lot of paramedics and so many police and they were more worried about the van that was robbed but no one took note of my child.”
Faigon died before reaching the hospital.
“I think if that robbery wouldn’t have happened he would’ve still been with us. He was my everything, my only child and I am going to miss him,” Wildschut said.
EMS spokesperson Robert Daniels said the ambulance was en route to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital when it was stoned near Borcherds Quarry.
“The crew were then robbed of their belongings at gunpoint. A second ambulance was dispatched to transport the patient, but the trauma to his head was so severe he sadly passed away at noon.”
Mayco member for safety, security and social services JP Smith said the focus was on other areas such as the R300, where ambulance attack incidents were more prominent.
Smith said law enforcement who were first on the scene were reasonably quick, despite limitations.
“We are limited, but we do what we can in terms of crime prevention. Through CCTV, officials were able to see something was wrong as slabs were on the road. Law enforcement officials rushed to the scene. Sadly, EMS staff were already attacked. We usually monitor vehicles that stop on the N2 and night vision software also helps a lot,” Smith said.
Smith said City officials patrol the N2 and that attacks were not common.
“Few incidents happen there, so our focus was on roads like R300. This incident has shifted our focus back to it now.”
Smith said that while there were ongoing discussions with Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo about attacks on staff, the City, province and EMS had been working on a solution for five months, which would be introduced in February.
Head of EMS Dr Shaheem de Vries said their staff were not physically harmed, but they were shaken up.