Woman Seeks to Raise Awareness After Niece Dies from SJS

When Gontlemang Gaselabone’s niece died after being diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, the woman wanted to make sure hospitals and doctors realize how deadly the disease really is.

Last December, Gaselabone’s niece started complaining about having headaches. A trip to the clinic didn’t reveal much and neither did any subsequent trip the woman and her niece made. When the headaches seemed to go away, they went on with their Christmas plans. By January 10th, the girl’s headaches returned, but this time her eyes were itchy, too. The aunt didn’t realize that these were early signs of Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), and the doctors didn’t think of it.

Once the SJS progressed, the girl was left without her vision and Gaselabone took her to an ophthalmologist. The girl was given eye drops and some pills to treat it, but that gave her niece a rash.

Her whole body was covered with blisters that resembled burns and I took her back to the government clinic where they said she had a severe measles,” Gaselabone says. “The more she took the medication, the more the condition worsened.”

Gaselabone’s niece couldn’t eat or swallow because of the blisters in her mouth. On January 11th, her niece’s skin turned black and she was referred to a hospital. The girl’s skin was falling off and no one seemed to know why. That is until one of the girl’s cousins (a nursing student at Kenye Seventh Day Hospital) visited and told them that the girl had SJS, which is an adverse allergic reaction to medication. The girl’s diagnosis came too late, and Gaselabone’s niece passed away. A sad fact is that the doctor at the private clinic to which Gaselabone’s niece was referred wrote down “Consider Stevens-Johnson syndrome,” but still the condition continued undiagnosed and untreated. The little girl was buried on January 29th.

Gaselabone says she doesn’t want to air anybody’s dirty laundry. She just wants to let people know that this disease is out there and spread the word so that future cases will be diagnosed and treated faster.

“From what I have noticed, not many people including health practitioners know about SJS and my niece’s story will open their eyes,” she says.

If you or someone you love has suffered permanent injuries or death from SJS, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am an experienced SJS lawyer who will work hard to get you the compensation you may be entitled to.

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