WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE BELOW
Durban - With the family unable to pay for medical surgery for the 47-year-old former domestic worker who was savaged by three pit bulls, Selina Kokolosi’s body tissues are dying.
Kokolosi lost her ears, nose and lip after her boss’s dogs attacked her when she reported for work at the Potchefstroom home of her employer, who had left the dogs loose that day.
She was found lying in a pool of blood by neighbours who heard her terrible screams coming from the home of Chandre van der Linde and partner Marno Mostert.
Kokolosi’s hands, legs and ribs were mauled, leaving her severely disfigured.
Joburg plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Bruce Lelala, who offered to assist Kokolosi in her recovery process and invited her to his Hyde Park practice for a medical assessment, said she needed to undergo an urgent surgical process as her body tissue in the affected areas was dying off.
Lelala discovered further internal injuries and said Kokolosi had suffered extensive eyelid, upper limb and lower-limb injuries.
“She has suffered a chronic non-healing wound on the right lower limb over the Achilles tendon, and extensive large defects on the bones in her legs. The patient also has some degree of lymphedema (accumulation of rich fluid from the body's lymph system),” said Lelala.
He said an extensive team was required for Kokolosi’s surgical reconstruction process, including a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, an assistant surgeon and an anaesthetist.
“We also need an ophthalmologist; ear, nose and throat surgeon; prosthetist; a full theatre team of professional nurses; wound nurse; physiotherapist; dietician; occupational therapist and a psychologist.”
Speaking via her nephew Tebogo, Kokolosi said that the family was going through financial difficulties and could not afford to pay for the medical processes.
“Her hope to regain her dignity is fading. She is in pain and forever crying, it kills us as the family to see her so helpless and vulnerable. My aunt was just a helper earning a mere R1 000 a month, no one can save anything from that ...
“We have no hope at all because we simply do not have the money. On Monday, she was expected to return to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital for a check-up, but we did not have money for transport. When we got some cash, we took her to the hospital on Thursday. But we were turned away and told to come back on May 16,” said Tebogo.
Dr Lelala told the Daily News that he had approached some of his colleagues who agreed to work with him and help Kokolosi regain her dignity.
A crowdfunding campaign has been started to help Kokolosi raise funds for her reconstruction recovery process, which could cost millions of rand.
After reading Selina’s story, a Joburg woman, Alma McGill, launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy to assist Kokolosi with the cost of her reconstructive surgeries, rehabilitation, and other expenses that she might incur. Kokolosi’s next procedure on her ears and lips is expected to take place on June 10, 2022.
In the spirit of ubuntu, the Daily News urges the public to make donations for Kokolosi.
Donations can be made by the using the link: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/dupuo-kokolisi
Alternatively, donations can be made via Snapscan to: https://pos.snapscan.io/qr/SelinaKokolosi