KZN couple part of listeriosis class-action suit


December 8, 2018 1:00 pm

Amelia Govender with her fiancé Kyle Victor when she was 8 months pregnant with her baby Summer Reign.Picture: Supplied
Durban – AMELIA Govender still has the ashes of her baby girl in an urn at her home after the newborn contracted listeriosis and eventually had her life support switched off.

Govender, 27, had eaten polony while pregnant, which resulted in her daughter becoming infected in the womb.

The baby was born prematurely last November with no brain activity.

“She spent a couple of days in the ICU on life support, while doctors ran tests on her. My fiancé, Kyle, and I had to make the decision to remove her from the life support.”

They could not bear seeing the tubes keeping her alive.

This week, the South Gauteng High Court granted human rights lawyers Richard Spoor Attorneys permission to go ahead with its listeriosis class-action suit, but for Govender nothing will ease the pain of losing her baby.

Attorney Thami Malusi said there were 150 victims who were part of the lawsuit.

“The court has instructed us to reach out to more people affected by the outbreak and we have until March 3 to do so.”

Malusi said they would go ahead with the lawsuit next month – when the claimants’ summons would be served on Tiger Brands.

“My attorney informed me about the progress in the case,” said Govender.

“While I am happy they have made headway in the matter, nothing will bring my baby back.”

She said she blamed herself for what had happened to her daughter.

“Even if I was given some warning about the disease, I would have known better.”

She said the past year had been a nightmare and she and her fiancé were undergoing counselling.

“We break down in tears when we think about Summer and we cannot be around children anymore because it is too painful. I still have her ashes in an urn. Dispersing them would be too difficult for us. Even her clothing, cot, nappies and things I had purchased before her birth are still in our home.”

Govender said some social media users had created memes on listeriosis “but they don’t realise the pain some families are going through”.

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