Treshen Chetty died on Saturday, two days after he had to be moved from a private hospital that allegedly demanded R45 000 up front before they could perform surgery after locating the bullet.
Chetty, 35, was taken to a state hospital that was so busy, his devastated friend and supervisor claims, that he could only been seen to the morning after he was admitted.
“They could not locate the bullet, so they stitched him up,” said Vischal Maharaj. “He spoke very little after the operation. I tried to motivate him but the pain was unbearable.
“On Friday they started doing dialysis after one of his kidneys started to fail, but I was told his situation had improved. Despite having so many doctors on duty, no one could give me clear answers as to what was going on.”
Chetty died at around 2.15am on Saturday after internal organ failure.
Maharaj said Chetty’s death had left many unanswered questions.
“If we were informed properly we would have proceeded properly. If we knew he would only receive treatment the next morning at Stanger Hospital, we would never have moved him.”
Chetty, 35, a father of one who worked at car dealership CMH uMhlanga, was on his way to visit a friend on Daisy Road in Buffelsdale, oThongathi, last Wednesday when he was accosted by hijackers who fled in his Toyota Tazz.
Bleeding profusely, he mustered up the little energy he had to call for help from a nearby neighbour, who placed a towel on the wound to stop the bleeding. The neighbour then called security company Reaction Unit South Africa.
Maharaj said Chetty had called him, saying: “Boss, I’m in trouble. I’ve been shot. I need help.”
Said Maharaj: “I was in complete shock when I saw him. He was in agonising pain and battling to breathe. He didn’t have medical aid but we took him to the (private hospital) anyway since it was the nearest hospital.” He said blood samples were drawn and X-rays done and staff managed to find the bullet in Chetty’s lower abdomen.
But the hospital required R40500 in cash for the operation, he said. “Gathering advice from doctors, we decided to move him to Stanger Hospital the same night.”
He described Chetty as a “true gem”.
Chetty’s wife, Desirée, a factory worker, was inconsolable when POST called her on Tuesday - their 14th wedding anniversary.
“He was the love of my life and now he’s gone,” she cried.
His brother, Kreveshan, 22, added: “His death has left me feeling shocked and angry. When our dad passed away in 2011, Treshen became a father to me.”
Chetty’s car was found abandoned near King Shaka International Airport, about 3km from the scene of the hijacking.
“It is alleged the suspects lost control of the vehicle on a sharp bend resulting in it crashing into the embankment,” said Reaction Unit boss Prem Balram.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said a case of murder and carjacking was being investigated.
Chetty’s funeral was on Sunday at the oThongathi crematorium.
He leaves his wife and 3-year-old son, Tyson.
Neither Stanger Hospital nor the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, which runs it, had commented at the time of publication.