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Missing patient found in hospital ceiling - dead

23 October 2017 - 16:00 By Aron Hyman
Hospital/Emergency centre. File photo.
Hospital/Emergency centre. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/iStockphoto

Staff at Stellenbosch Hospital have been left baffled after a man's body was found in the hospital ceiling‚ two weeks after his mysterious disappearance from his hospital bed.

Western Cape health department spokesman‚ Mark van der Heever‚ said the 61-year-old was admitted to the hospital on October 5 after he underwent abdominal surgery at Paarl Hospital.

"Prior to his disappearance a nurse was attending to him‚" said Van der Heever. "When she went to get clean linen‚ the patient disappeared."

He said hospital management and SAPS immediately started looking for him after they were informed of his disappearance.

"Sadly‚ the patient’s body was discovered 13 days later in an isolated area in the ceiling‚ which is difficult to reach‚" said Van der Heever.

He said that construction work currently being done at the hospital made the search more difficult. "The circumstances relating to how the patient got access to the ceiling is currently being investigated."

The department has offered condolences to the family and extended trauma counselling to them.

Van der Heever said they would meet the family to discuss the results of the autopsy once the report became available.