Mega brood of 10 babies ‘are fighting for their lives in South African hospital say relatives: Father insists world will get to see decuplets ‘at the right time’
- Gosiame Sithole, 37, claims to have given birth to 10 babies in South Africa
- The family insist decuplets – seven boys and three girls – were born Monday, with five delivered naturally and five by Caesarean section
- But some doubt remains over the authenticity, with government officials saying they have no record of the birth and no doctor coming forward to confirm it
- Meanwhile, father Tebogo Tsotetsi flew to Cape Town to accept a £50,000 donation for the kids, saying the world will get to see them ‘at the right time’
10 babies said to have been born to one mother are currently fighting for their lives at a hospital in South Africa, the infants’ aunt has claimed.
The aunt, who has not been publicly identified, said mother Gosiame Sithole is also recovering in the same Pretoria hospital after giving birth to five of the children naturally and another five by Caesarean section on Monday, a total of 10 babies.
‘all ten babies are still in incubators fighting for their lives. They came at 29 weeks; the mother is still weak… This is a sensitive issue,’ the woman told TimesLIVE.
Meanwhile, unemployed father Tebogo Tsotetsi flew to Cape Town on Wednesday to accept a £50,000 donation for the children’s care while insisting the world will get to see them ‘at the right time’ – as doubt remains over the authenticity of the birth.
Tsotetsi claims his wife gave birth to 10 babies – seven boys and three girls, a total of ten babies – overnight Monday after a ‘natural’ pregnancy, even though such births are almost always the result of fertility treatments.
Since then a number of relatives have come forward to insist that the birth is genuine, even as local officials say they have no record of the delivery taking place at any hospital in Guateng state, where Pretoria is located.
No doctor has yet come forward to verify the delivery and no pictures of the infants have been published – ostensibly for cultural and religious reasons.
If the birth, a total of 10 babies are confirmed as genuine, it would be a world record – coming just a month after a Malian woman, Halima Cisse, gave birth to nine children in Morocco.
Tsotetsi told Pretoria News today: ‘They are premature, they are still incubated. Very small as you can think – a total of ten babies in one womb that normally carries one baby.
‘They are very small, so the sensitivity that goes into that, even the doctors, they don’t want to risk that.’
He added that five babies were born naturally and another five were delivered by c-section, saying a team of six doctors, two gynaecologists and two nurses helped to add up to 10 babies.
Tsotetsi said his wife was exhausted after the birth, but that she had managed to get out of bed and take a short walk on Wednesday.
‘She is doing very well.’ he added.
Tsotetsi was the first to break the news of the apparent birth to reporters on Monday, telling the Pretoria News that his wife had given birth to seven boys and three girls.
‘I am happy. I am emotional. I can’t talk much,’ he said at the time.
The news quickly spread around the world, followed by a scramble for official information on the pregnancy and birth that has so-far proved elusive.
South African media have been at loggerheads over the story, with some outlets rushing to confirm the news while others quickly derided it.
To date, no definitive account of the pregnancy or birth has been published.
Government officials have gone so far as to confirm they are aware of the case and have been in contact with the family before, after Sithole gave birth to twins in 2016.
But Feziwe Ndwayana, a spokesman for the Department of Social Development, said yesterday that she cannot confirm the birth of 10 children because nobody has been in contact with Sithole recently.
Ms Ndwayana added that a social worker will be sent to the family home today to try and confirm the authenticity of the delivery.
Pretoria News claims to have been in touch with the family for months over the pregnancy but held on to the story until after the birth.
The newspaper claims it is not publishing all the details it has about the delivery because of ‘cultural and religious reasons’.
Alongside news of the birth, which first appeared in Tuesday’s paper, the outlet also ran an interview with Sithole and Totetsi that they said was conducted several months ago.
At the time, Sithole believed she was pregnant with eight children – having initially been told she was carrying six before two more were discovered on a later scan.
It was only during the birth itself that the remaining two children were discovered, according to the newspaper.
Sithole said she suffered through the complicated pregnancy, experiencing morning sickness early on followed later by pain in her leg.
Meanwhile Tsotetsi revealed that he initially could not believe his wife with pregnant with six children, thinking it was medically impossible.
‘But after I found out that these things do happen, and saw my wife’s medical records, I got excited. I can’t wait to have them in my arms,’ he said at the time.
The condition of the children following the birth was not made clear by Pretoria News, which was the first to report the case.
Children of such extreme multiple pregnancies are almost always born underweight and can often be malnourished as the mother’s body struggles to provide nutrients for so many infants.
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