Doctors still investigating cause of Pretoria boy’s paralysis

Presented as written by Bennitt Bartl, journalist at Rekord Moot:

Doctors still investigating cause of Pretoria boy’s paralysis

Giovanni Hendriks (17) has spent the last 13 days in ICU. Photo: Supplied

A 17-year-old Hoërskool Tuine learner has spent the last 13 days in ICU at Kalafong hospital.

This as doctors attempt to find a cause for his full-body paralysis.

Giovanni Hendriks came home from school on 25 February to tell his mother, Elize, that he wasn’t feeling well.

Giovanni was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome nine years ago, according to Elize.

“On the 25th he said he felt drained like he had no strength left in him,” she said.

“We took him to the Pretoria West hospital. There a doctor told us he had the flu and sent us home with some pain medication.”

The next day, however, Giovanni was only getting worse.

“I had to call an ambulance because he was totally paralysed. He couldn’t move or swallow or speak. They took him back to Pretoria West hospital.”

By 13:00 Giovanni appeared to be slipping into a coma.

“He was transferred from there to Kalafong hospital,” said Elize.

“To this day the doctors cannot deduce what is wrong with him and he remains totally paralysed. They are treating him for every infection and bacteria they can think of.”

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Giovanni has undergone two MRI scans, one CTI scan and two lumber punctures, all of which appear clear.

Elize said the ordeal has been very hard on Giovanni’s brother and father, Giani.

“The doctors had him on treatment for Guillain-Barre for about a week,” she said.

Giovanni is able to move his eyes and doctors and his family use this to communicate with him.

“We are driving from home to the hospital all the time and last Saturday a drunk driver drove into our vehicle.”

Elize said the family, who stay in Danville in Pretoria, trusts a miracle will happen.

Anyone who wishes to assist the Hendriks family can contact the Rekord for more information.

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