Empilweni Client Story 3

Okhanyo (not her real name), a 16 year old girl, was brought to Empilweni by her mother because over the past year she had become aggressive, cried easily, was withdrawn, and was unable to concentrate at school. This behavior had started after her father’s sudden death. He was a diabetic with high blood pressure. While waiting in the queue outside the clinic on his appointment day he collapsed and died immediately. Okhanyo and her mother were notified. When they arrived at the clinic, they were distressed to see him still lying there, with his face full of sand


Okhanyo and her mother found it difficult to overcome their anger at the clinic staff for not covering his body or taking it inside, and they were still feeling angry and traumatized when they were seen at Empilweni. Okhanyo tried to avoid walking past the clinic, as she would relive the experience and feel traumatized all over again. Her mother noticed that she was becoming more withdrawn and tearful, and aggressive at times. Her teacher reported that she was not concentrating in class


Okhanyo attend several counselling sessions at Empilweni as she was still grieving the loss of her father and found it difficult to accept that he was no longer there. Empilweni asked to see her younger brother as it seemed that he had also not been able to mourn his father. A memory box was used to help the family deal with their loss. Although a very sad exercise, it enabled the family to mourn and begin to put their lives back together


Okhanyo’s mother also attended 8 group sessions for parents. As a result she felt strong enough to go back to the clinic and tell the manager how upset she was about the way the clinic had handled the situation

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