23 January 2018

Namibia: Terminally Ill Pensioner Rescued and Hospitalised

Walvis Bay — The 63-year-old pensioner who is terminally ill and living in isolation in the desert, about 18 kilomtres from Walvis Bay, was last week evacuated from the desert to Walvis Bay State Hospital. The pensioner, Christian Potgieter, is battling three types of cancers and has not been receiving treatment for years. Potgieter has since February 2016 lived in a deplorable state in an old caravan, without access to clean water and sanitation.

Following the story in New Era on Thursday, the Walvis Bay paramedics, police and family members rushed to the assistence of the pensioner on Friday morning.

He was in such a bad state that the paramedics had to first stabilise him before rushing him to the hospital for proper medical attention.

Medical officials at Walvis Bay Hospital told New Era over the weekend that they have requested for the medical records of the pensioner to see what treatment is needed. "However he is very mulnourished and we need to build up his immune system as treatment could be too strong for him," said the officials at the hopsital.

The old man's plight was reported by two Samaritans who were worried about his health as he could not leave the caravan for days.

Speaking on behalf of Potgieter's relatives, an emotional JP van Maak who drove from Tsumeb on Friday morning said that they only learned about Potgieter's condition through the media last week.

"If it wasn't for the media we wouldn't have known where my uncle found himself and about his condition. We are just glad that he is receiving medical attention now," said van Maak.

He also indicated that Potgieter will be taken back to Tsumeb when his health improves, so that he can be with family.

The two Good Samaritans, Aron Joel and Apolo Namupala, who made Potgieter's rescue possible also told New Era that they are relieved that the old man finally received assistance as they feared for his life.


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