Their mom’s autopsy report was for a man. A year later it’s still not fixed
The family alerted the morgue and cops to the error-ridden report, and they haven't heard a word since
An error-ridden autopsy report sent back a year ago has still not been reissued. Now the family of Anna Marie Bronkhorst, 55, are still in the dark about how the Benoni woman died.
Bronkhorst was admitted to an Alberton hospital on March 19 2018 after she was accidentally run over by her son’s car.
Jacob jnr, a 2018 Mr SA runner-up, said his car was parked on his parent’s steep driveway when the handbrake gave way and the car rolled over his mother who was tending to the garden.
“Luckily our neighbour is a paramedic. My mother went into a diabetic coma, probably from the shock of the incident. Her blood sugar level was 83 where the normal blood sugar level is between five and seven.
“You should have read the local newspaper headlines: ‘Son drives over mother’! It was so hurtful and not even true. Can you imagine what the headlines would have been if they knew I was a Mr SA finalist?” he said.
Jacob jnr said he visited his mother in hospital every day.
“On the Wednesday we were told Mom didn’t have internal bleeding. That Thursday evening, when I walked out [after visiting her], I said to my boyfriend it felt like I was leaving Mom for the last time. Then at 5.45am the next morning all hell broke loose.”
His dad, Jacob snr, received a phone call early in the morning from the hospital, saying his wife needed more scans because they thought she may have a blood clot.
“I went to the hospital with my son and daughter. We went to the shops to get something to eat while she was in theatre. We came back and sat outside the theatre, then we went back to ICU to wait for my wife to come out.
“My son and daughter walked into the ICU ward and the nurse stopped me and called me into the office where she told me my wife had died.”
Jacob jnr said they are battling to find closure.
“My parents were married for 38 years, it’s been so hard on dad without closure,” he said.
Jacob snr said he was unsure why Bronkhorst was in hospital for so long because scans showed no injury to her brain, bones or muscles.
He said he was told his wife would be home by Friday. Instead, on the day, he received the news that she had died.
An autopsy was performed on March 26 and the family received the results three days later.
Jacob snr immediately noticed discrepancies.
“The report was full of mistakes. On the front was a result for a ‘white male’ on the back was the results for a ‘white female’.
“Anna had a hysterectomy and she had her gall bladder removed, and the report included these organs, so I don’t know if this is for her with mistakes or someone else’s report,” Jacob snr said.
He reported the errors to the mortuary and the Benoni police station, which was handling the inquest docket into her death, but he says he has still not received a corrected autopsy report, nor has he heard anything from the police.
The CEO for Forensic Medical Services, Mosou Morule, in reply to questions from Vuyo Sabani from the Gauteng health department, said the managers at Germiston Forensic Pathology Service (FPS) were not aware of any mistakes in the report after a thorough and detailed assessment.
“Nothing whatsoever has been done so far, as the officials are not aware of any mistakes. A process can be started only as soon as there is evidence of an incorrect autopsy report issued.
“It will be helpful for the complainants to approach the SAPS investigating officer in this case to liaise with the Germiston FPS management,” he said.
But the family claim they have gone to great lengths to inform the investigating officer of the mistakes.
Benoni police spokesperson Captain Nomsa Sekele said they were waiting to receive the final report from the mortuary. “The case is still under investigation.”
“The pain is compounded now that we have to wait to find out why she died. I feel pain every time I have to go and ask for an update on the case. We even have to explain to home affairs who contact us regularly as they cannot issue a death certificate.” Bronkorst said.
“It’s not knowing that hurts.”