Two City of Cape Town law enforcement officials have been praised for saving a 5-year-old girl from bees.
“I don’t think management could have ever foreseen such a scenario,” says Sheena Fredericks (28), a learner law enforcement officer, when she and partner Cedric Adams were informed that a swarm of bees was attacking a small child at the Jolly Jack Building.
The officers said although not trained to deal with such a scenario, they rushed to the scene and immediately realised they were dealing with a life-threatening situation.
By that time the little girl had been stung repeatedly while her mom, Annelize, was trying to fend off her buzzing attackers. Bee attacks can be fatal to anyone allergic to their sting.
Nevertheless, the two brave officers rushed to the rescue. “When I saw that little girl she reminded me of my own daughter of the same age, and I acted instinctively,” Fredericks related.
She said little Johneka Goosen was covered in so many bees one could hardly see her body, and she and Adams were not immune to their attack either.
“When I ran towards her the swarm came after me and stung me all over, inside my ears, on my head, even on my eyelids. All I could feel was pain and fear,” said Fredericks.
“Johneka was screaming hysterically, and I had to use my body as a shield to try and protect her. In that time the bees got into my neck and started attacking my partner as well.”
Adams remembers feeling a combination of anguish, fear and pain at that moment.
“I didn’t know how we were going to survive the ordeal,” he said. “The bee stings were hurting like nothing else I had ever felt before, and scared or not, saving that little girl made it all worthwhile.”
Johneka and her mother have since recovered well, but Fredericks says she herself struggled to sleep for about two weeks after the incident.
“Whenever I heard a fly in my room I would panic, thinking it was bees buzzing. And I would start itching as if there was something crawling in my clothes. I hope my fear of bees will subside in time.”
Both officers were commended for their bravery and received service excellence awards, an honour they are extremely proud of.
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