The man went missing for nearly two weeks after undergoing surgery iStock


  • 61-year-old missing for 13 days before being found in ceiling at Stellenbosch Hospital.
  • He vanished while recovering from abdominal surgery.

The body of a 61-year-old man was found in the ceiling of a South African hospital two weeks after he went missing following surgery. Staff at Stellenbosch Hospital are baffled by how the man managed to get up in the ceiling after he vanished from his bed while recovering from abdominal surgery.

According to provincial health department spokesperson Mark van der Heeve, the man was reported missing on 5 October after a nurse who had been attending to him left this room to fetch some fresh linen.

When she returned, the man had gone. After nearly two weeks, staff and South African Police Services (SAPS) were still unable to locate the missing patient.

Van der Heever said: "Sadly, the patient's body was discovered 13 days later in an isolated area in the ceiling, which is difficult to reach.

"There is currently construction work being carried out at the hospital which also contributed to the difficulty of the search. The circumstances relating to how the patient got access to the ceiling are currently being investigated."

The health department said they would meet with the family of the man to discuss the results of his autopsy once the report became available. The family has also been offered trauma and counselling services in the wake of the discovery, reported News 24.