Durban – FORMER radio personality Neville Pillay, 43, is on his death bed, and his family and loved ones are scrambling to help him financially.
The former ECR and Lotus FM presenter and comedian suffered a heart attack and a mild stroke, which resulted in him being partially-sighted.
Compounded by Type 2 diabetes, Pillay’s kidneys are failing and he requires dialysis treatment. He does not have medical aid.
His wife, Carol, and his doctor, who did not want to be named, said the father of two had only months to live.
“The trouble started in October when Neville had a heart attack,” said Carol.
“Neville has been a diabetic for about 20 years. After he suffered the heart attack and was admitted to a government hospital, the staff did not inform us his kidneys were giving up.
“Within two months, his weight blew up from 70kg to 110kg, with 40% of that being water retention. We managed to consult with a nephrologist (kidney specialist) in private practice. He confirmed Neville’s kidneys were in its last stages and he would need dialysis at least three times a week.”
When the couple returned to the government hospital for further medical checks, dialysis, and a possible kidney transplant, they were turned away due to Pillay being classified as morbidly obese.
“He was regarded as being a high-risk patient. Neville was basically told to go home. This man is the father of my kids. I could not allow this to happen, so I left my job as a cosmetic consultant to care for him.”
The nephrologist said overweight patients did not qualify for kidney transplants due to health risks.
“His kidneys were suffering for a while but no one knew. When I met him in January, he was morbidly obese and 40% of his body weight was water retention, which was concerning. He needed dialysis.”
Aware of the family’s financial predicament, and Pillay not being on medical aid, the doctor rallied together other private specialists and Pillay was given a round of dialysis at the private hospital.
The doctor also arranged for further treatment at a dialysis centre but the family had to pay between R1600 to R2000 for each treatment.
The couple managed to draw on some of their savings but then Pillay had another setback.
In April, he suffered a mild stroke and the blood vessels in his eyes burst, which resulted in him being left with partial vision.
“The money that we were paying for his dialysis now had to be used for other medical expenses.”
The doctor explained: “In Neville’s case, the small and big blood vessels took the strain and gave up. The small vessels attacked his vision, while the large vessel caused the stroke.”
Carol said their lives had been turned upset down.
“We downgraded from our three-bedroom family house, in Ballito, to renting a home in Merebank. Neville continues to go to the government hospital and sits for hours to get basic medical care, and some medication.
“He is just surviving. Our kids are at their lowest, seeing their dad this way. The youngest refuses to go to school because she is afraid something will happen to him and the older one, out of desperation, posted about our plight on her dad’s Facebook page on Sunday.”
Speaking before dialysis on Tuesday, Pillay said it was frustrating when he was told by staff at the public hospital that there was nothing they could do.
“They literally said go home and die. They did not want to help in any way. What is the point of making a contribution (to tax) and expecting your country to take care of you? I am not the only one. There are so many others being refused help.
“I have two girls, 17 and eight. Any child wants their dad around and for someone to say to you ‘sorry there is nothing we can do’.”
Pillay added: “God willing, when I am on my feet again, I plan on going into philanthropy, talking about this disease, helping people and helping families. I don’t care about money, a big house or a car. I just want to make a difference.”
A fellow comedian, Meshantan Naidoo, who referred to Pillay as his “idol”, intends hosting a variety show. The funds raised will be used for Pillay’s medical expenses.
“Neville was the first person who interviewed me when my videos went viral on social media. Last week, I watched the Kings of Mulberry Street, in which he featured, and I messaged him to say I enjoyed his performance but his wife responded. She said he was unwell.”
He said entertainers often “lived hand to mouth” as they did not receive a set salary.
“After listening to his family and knowing how much Neville has done for everyone, I wanted to help. I have secured comedians, singers and bands, for a variety show, and the money will go towards his medical expenses.”
Skeem Saam’s Koko Mantsha death dismissed as fake news
Koko Mantsha, the popular Skeem Saam character acto, real name, Lydia Mokgokoloshi is not dead.
Social media is awash with news of her death which seems to have been fuelled by fake news sites aiming to profit from unsuspecting lovers of the 80 year-old veteran actress.
Lydia Mokgokoloshi, has appeared in many television shows including Muvhango and Bophelo ke semphego.
Mokgokoloshi was born on 27 September 1939, in Polokwane, Polokwane Local Municipality, Capricorn District Municipality, Limpopo.
She is most famous for acting as Koko Mantsha the grandmother of Katlego Pietersen (Patrick Seleka) in the soap, Skeem Saam.
Tweets and reports that Mme Lydia Mokgokoloshi has passed are FALSE
Nkoko Mantsha, as she is affectionately known to Skeem Saam fans, is alive.
The FB page reporting this is NOT an SABC creates page. pic.twitter.com/mGcpWASpqf
— Kgopolo (@PhilMphela) July 24, 2021
Watch: Thulani Dlomo an alleged ‘Zuma spy’, hands himself in
Thulani Dlomo, the axed former SSA top spy and former SA ambassador to Japan has handed himself over to police on Friday.
Dlomo’s lawyer Philani Shangase said that he handed himself over at his own will at the Durban Central Police station on Friday.
He said Dlomo was not arrested but wanted to clear his name following media reports.
Dlomo was being interviewed by police officers at 17h00 on Friday.
“He has denied all wrong doing,” Shangase said.
Dlomo was suspected to be one of the instigators of the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
This is a developing story.
Residents warned against consuming dead fish washing up at Umhlanga and Umdloti beaches – video
The eThekwini Municipality has sent out a warning to residents against collecting and consuming dead fish and crayfish that have washed up on the beaches of Umhlanga and Umdloti, north of Durban.
The public has been asked to refrain from fishing, surfing and swimming on the beaches after a video of the dead fish on the beaches emerged on social media.
The municipality said it was investigating what caused the marine life to die.
“It is considered serious and can affect one’s health if collected and consumed.”
According to reports, run-off water and chemicals reached the ocean through storm water drains after firefighters battled a blaze at a chemical plant at Cornubia started by looters on Tuesday.
“The public is advised to refrain from all recreational activities, including fishing or surfing, bait collection and picking up of dead species in this area,” said the municipality.
“Collecting or harvesting of any marine living resource in the area is temporarily prohibited until the cause is determined and the threat has abated.
“Authorities are investigating the source of the pollution and cleanup companies are trying to contain the spill.”
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