The elderly woman who became the face of everything that public hospitals should not be after being chained to a bench at Mamelodi Hospital last year had not found closure at the time of her death.

Martha Marais died on Friday at the Eersterust Association and Community Health Centre hours after visiting her children and celebrating her son Vernon’s birthday.

Her daughter Stephanie Marais told the media their mother had not been the same after the incident. “I pray that what she went through does not happen to anyone, because it scars you. I pray no one ever sees their parent the way I found my mother that day.

“She was never able to recover from it I lost my mother after that day; she was no longer the same person. Before the incident, her energy and outspokenness were unmatched. It is sad how she changed, but I believe now she is no longer in pain.”

Priscilla Marais, her last-born, who works as a nurse in Miami, Florida in the US, said: “I too have not found closure because I don’t know what has happened to the nurses and doctors involved in that ordeal. There was settlement, but that is not adequate they will do it to the next person.

“Her condition was terrible. She went from being talkative and energetic to completely the opposite. Seeing her like that was so painful. The change in her happened after that incident at the Mamelodi Hospital. She had never been the same since and she was really traumatised.

“They really took her spirit away and no amount of money or apologies can restore that, and that is why I won’t rest until I find out what is happening because I know this profession. I need to know what happened to those responsible; a slap on the wrist is not enough for me. I want justice for my mother.”

Recall that last year, a video of a sickly Marais – 76 at the time chained to a bench at the hospital went viral.

The South African Human Rights Commission assisted her to confront the Gauteng Department of Health, and following an investigation, five staff members at the hospital were placed on special leave.

A settlement agreement was also reached by the department and with Martha’s family. The department would not be drawn into disclosing the amount of money paid or the fate of the five staff members, saying both matters were private.

Priscilla said she would miss the most the banter they used to exchange and was glad she had got to see her mother before she died. Priscilla was last back home in 2014.

“It was very difficult being away from home and very far when the incident happened. I felt powerless and very upset and as a nurse I think it is unacceptable; it is not how we are trained. It was difficult because I could not be there.”

Martha leaves behind four children, seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

She will be buried on Saturday, with her funeral service starting in the morning at her home in Eerste- rust, moving to her daughter’s home where she was living, and ending at the Anglican Church in St Joseph Street.

Virginia Keppler, the family spokesperson  said they were saddened by Martha’s death, but found solace in that she left a legacy. “She was 76 and petite, but she took on the department and brought about positive changes at the hospital.”