File Image: IOL

Durban - A letter of demand has been issued to the Department of Health to pay R7 million in damages to the family of a patient at RK Khan Hospital who was found with thousands of maggots in his mouth. 

A video of 52-year-old Sadek Ebrahim with thousands of maggots in his mouth caused outrage on social media. 

Ebrahim had been a patient at the hospital situated in Chatsworth from June 19. He was being treated for gangrene.

On June 23, Ebrahim's son Azaad made the discovery after he noticed his father's upper lip was extremely swollen.

This week Durban attorney Theasan Pillay from Theasan Pillay & Associates confirmed they were acting on behalf of the Ebrahim family. 

In a letter addressed to the new CEO of RK Khan Hospital Nqobile Mkhwanazi they claim that the maggots had resulted from the deceased not being treated properly nor kept in a hygienic environment. 

The deceased, they claimed, at the time had suffered a severe debilitating stroke, was physically incapable of alerting any individual of the discomfort or pain that he may have experienced. 

They allege that Ebrahim was not regularly attended or examined and was treated in a inhumane and disrespectful manner. 

They described his care as being of an unacceptable substandard. 

The family claimed that they suffered undue emotional trauma, anxiety and distress and continue to suffer. 

The claim is R2 million for Ebrahim's wife and R5 million for his son. 

They have given the Department 30 days to pay. 

The Department of Health has not yet replied to queries.