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Girl dies a week after finishing matric
Keishia Ruiters

Despite her battle with bone marrow cancer (leukaemia), Keishia Ruiters from Uitsig was determined to complete her matric examinations.

Last night, barely a week after writing her final exam, the 19-year-old Marian High School learner passed away in Tygerberg hospital.

In an interview with TygerBurger, her mother, Lynette Ruiters, said her daughter was put on life support yesterday morning.

“I left the hospital at 07:00 to freshen up and get rest because I slept there the previous night. When I got back just after 11:00, I saw Keishia was put on life support. My child looked like she was in so much pain. I could see she was suffering,” said Lynette.

Her mother explained Keishia, who was in matric last year, was first diagnosed with leukaemia on 4 May last year. For the next few months she remained in Tygerberg Hospital until her cancer went into remission on 30 November last year. “She missed her entire school year as she was only able to write her first term exams. This year she redid her matric year because she was determined to complete it.”

On Tuesday 20 November, during her final exams, Keishia fell ill again. Lynette explained that even though she felt ill, Keishia got out of bed on Wednesday 21 November to go to school to write an exam. “She didn’t allow her illness to stop her from fulfilling her dream. Keishia was admitted to Tygerberg Hospital on Thursday 22 November,but she again insisted that she wants to write her last two papers. She was able to write her last two papers on Friday 23 November and Monday 26 November in the hospital ward. There was an invigilator with her,” explained her mother.

Keishia was taken off life support at 18:00 last night.

“All my child wanted was to complete her matric year and she was able to do this. This is a very difficult time for my family, but as her mother I’m happy she is not suffering anymore.”

Keishia is survived by her mother and an 11-year-old sister.

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