Picture: Supplied
Picture: Supplied

LOOK: Blade stuck in man’s head for two years after botched surgery

By Mandilakhe Tshwete Time of article published Apr 1, 2021

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Cape Town - A man has been living with a broken blade in his head for two years after doctors failed to remove it after he was stabbed.

Jack Snyders, 43, said two years ago, doctors at a public hospital just stitched him up before sending him home with painkillers.

Jack said two weeks ago he burnt his arm and had to go to Hanover Park Day Hospital for treatment and there he found out about the blade.

The Philippi man said he was asked by a doctor about the metal in his ear but to his shock, it was discovered that it was actually the mes, which was positioned across his ear canal.

Jack Snyders. Picture Mandilakhe Tshwete

The broken, rusty blade was removed at Groote Schuur Hospital last Wednesday.

Snyders was involved in a fight in March 2019 and he was stabbed in the chest and head and was taken to Heideveld Day Hospital.

The doctor on duty cleaned his head wound and then closed it without removing the knife.

“I told him people said the knife broke inside my head, but the doctor answered that he didn’t see any knife and then stitched me up,” Jack explains.

“The knife went in close to my right temporal lobe, and years later it became visible.

A piece of the blade which was removed. Picture: Supplied

“I was also not sure what was in my ear, and I thought I should put a magnet behind my ear and then it didn’t fall off.”

Jack admits he had been feeling sick and got headaches.

“I just thought the headaches, fever and swollen face was the result of my high blood pressure.”

He is now seeking legal advice about taking on the health department.

Jack Snyders, 43, shows part of the blade that is still lodged in his ear. Picture: Supplied

“I want to sue the department, I could have died. And the knife had begun to rust in my ear and how do I know if there are no other damages.”

Western Cape Health Department spokeswoman Monique Johnstone apologised to Jack for the bad experience and said when he arrived at Heideveld two years ago the hospital was “very busy”.

“The patient presented to a very busy Heideveld Emergency Centre on 10 March 2019 with a stab wound to the chest.

“The wound to his head was cleaned and stitched, medical initiatives were conducted to save his life relating from the chest wound,” she explains.

“There was no complaint or identification of a metal object lodged in Mr. Snyders’ head and CT scans are usually requested after hours at Groote Schuur Hospital if indicated for an emergency.

“This case will be discussed by the management team of Heideveld Emergency Centre.”

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