For the love of a grandmother

Nurse, 31, fights for the custody of granny, 89

Lame Mothupi, 31, is a graduate nurse who lives in one rented room in Gaborone and survives through freelance work at a private hospital.

Like many young unemployed graduates, Mothupi is struggling to make ends meet in the capital city, but for the love of a grandmother, she has decided to fight for the guardianship of the ailing 89- year -old grandma, Beniah Madisa in court.

Against the wishes of the old woman’s seven children, Mothupi is in the process of filing an urgent court application through the assistance of human rights lawyers to get her grandmother from her home village of Lentswe-le-Moriti in Bobirwa area to come and live with her in her one room in Gaborone.

Speaking in an interview, the determined nurse said, “My grandmother fell and broke her hip in June last year. I made a decision to go home and assess her. I then realised that, she needed special care for her injuries and so I advised my family to bring her to the city for better medical care.”

She said they then travelled eight hours on the road and brought grandma Madisa to the city where she was admitted at Princess marina hospital for two months and was released to stay with one of her daughters, 51-year old Yvonne Mothupi, who is Mothupi’s mother.

“The doctors advised that her recovery would be slow due to other factors relating to old age. You have to note that caring for an 89- year old requires extensive training and understanding of the human body. Furthermore, medical assistance has to be readily available,” said Mothupi explaining why they hired the services of a nurse, physiotherapist and other health professionals to help in caring for the old woman while she was in Gaborone.

She further claimed that her grandmother’s broken hip was healing well until Yvonne decided to take her back home to Lentswelemoriti where she was likely to suffer without proper care.

“Grandma should not have infections from other parts of the body because should such infection occur and should it reach the hip, this may cause osteomyletis; that is, an infection of the injured bone which would consequently lead to amputation of her leg. At her age her body cannot handle amputations. She must be kept infection free,” noted Mothupi with visible concern.

She said in her clinical experience often conflicts arise among family members during time of intensive care.

“I have seen this throughout my training, and usually the person that suffers the most is the patient,”Mothupi explained.

She maintains her grandmother was taken to Lentswelemoriti against the old woman’s will hence the lawsuit to compel the family to return her to the city.

“They packed her bags in the early hours of July 04th 2018, with no consent from the patient, or consultation with me, her granddaughter who knows her health condition better, her doctors nor her nurses. None of us knew about the “planned abduction” of Berniah Madisa. She was actually abducted on the same day that her Orthotics Doctor was waiting for her to come and fit a shoe that the orthorsurgeon had ordered that she may walk straight instead of leaning towards one side from the injury,” she stated.

However Mothupi’s mother, Yvonne, has said that there is no way the old woman’s seven children would allow the young woman to take guardianship of their mother and bring her to Gaborone to live in a one room, when she has a house of her own and people who can take care of her in Lentswelemoriti.

“At 31 years of age my daughter is still very much under my care, so how can she take care of my ailing mother?” asked Yvonne who went on to further allege that the young nurse was abusing the old woman.

At the time of going to print, Mothupi was yet to file her case in court and the grandmother couldn’t comment on the matter because she had lost her ability to speak following a stroke she suffered sometime back.

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