Clint Morris, 40, was seriously injured in a scooter accident a month ago and has undergone multiple surgeries on both legs.
But nothing could have prepared him for the shock of seeing the maggot-infested wound after nurses had earlier told him to change his dressings himself.
Incredulous Eastern Cape Department of Health superintendent-general Dr Thobile Mbengashe said a full investigation would be carried out.
Morris said yesterday: “I felt weird. I looked down and saw these things crawling around my wounds.”
After he pointed it out to the nurses in Ward 2A, they still made him wait for 90 minutes before coming to clean his wound.
“I felt sick. I almost passed out from shock.”
Morris said since being admitted to Ward 2A on December 13, his dressings had only been changed once – on December 23 – after his visitors had asked the medical superintendent’s office to intervene.
“The nurses told me they were understaffed and I should do it myself,” he said.
Morris, who lives and works at The Willows, where he is employed as a handyman, was riding his scooter in Marine Drive when another vehicle drove into him.
He was taken to theatre just before 1am the next day.
Morris has since had seven surgeries as doctors desperately try to save his legs.
He has had pins and screws put in one leg and is due for a last operation tomorrow.
Morris can only walk a little on crutches and the other leg – which had to be reassembled by surgeons – is encased in a steel cage and is the one where the wound became infested with maggots.
Provincial health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo – speaking on behalf of Livingstone Hospital – said angrily: “It is totally unacceptable that a patient has been allowed to develop such complications in our care.”