The family of Yamkela Seplane, 14, from Tina Falls in Qumbu, who received the Covid-19 vaccine in 2021 and had a lump the size of a rugby ball form on her arm, says they are still grieving over their daughter’s passing. Today, Yamkela was buried at her Qumbu home.
The girl’s aunt, Mbuyi Seplane, expressed their disappointment and sadness to I’solezwe about the government’s lack of action up till her death on May 1 of this year.
Yamkela got vaccinated at Tina Falls Primary School on November 25, 2021, when she was in Grade 4. She then complained about the pain and heaviness in her arm, and then a lump appeared. The lump developed quickly over the next few days and continued to hurt, and it grew large.
“The lump grew, and after several trips to hospitals in search of assistance, it was discovered that Yamkela had a specific type of cancer.
“Additionally, she found it challenging to dress herself and look good like other children because her clothes did not fit due to the lump on her arm. My sister’s child was in excruciating pain. We even regret that she received the vaccination because she would still be alive today if she had not.
“Yes, the doctors said that the vaccine was not to blame; this disease just suddenly developed, but what we do know is that the symptoms on her arm began on the day she was vaccinated,” said Seplane.
According to her aunt, Yamkela, a pupil at Shawbury High School, had already dropped out due to her bad health, which was bothering her a great deal because she would frequently inquire about school from her peers.
When Yamkela was still alive, Petros Majola of the Khula Community Project, an organisation dedicated to advocating for children’s rights, visited her in her house. He says that throughout their chat, the girl expressed optimism for survival. According to Majola, the girl told him: “Sir, I want this arm amputated so that I can recover and go back to school.”
Majola is grieved by this girl’s death since she had ambitions and expectations for a better life when her arm was amputated. Yamkela has been making headlines for a long time after her arm swelled and she did not get immediate medical attention.