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Student who collapsed and died on Bloem campus described as go-getter

The South African logo The South African 2022/02/26 Corné van Zyl

The 24-year-old 24-year-old Carla Steytler, a second-year student in radiography at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein (CUT), died unexpectedly this week after collapsing on campus.


Carla’s parents from De Aar in the Northern Cape, Henry and Karin Steytler, said the university phoned them on Tuesday to say that Carla was not feeling well and that she had collapsed. 

Carla and another student were walking to a venue on campus around 12:00 on Tuesday when she suddenly started feeling unwell. 

“She said she felt tired and stood against a wall before collapsing. She said she could not breathe and was taken to the clinic, “Henry explained.

“The clinic called and asked if we had a family member in Bloemfontein because Carla did not feel well. We said we have no family there and will get by on our own.”

“As we didn’t have any family in Bloemfontein, we immediately got in the car and started driving to Bloemfontein on Tuesday afternoon.

“When we arrived there, we were informed that she had died at the campus clinic,” said an emotional Henry. 

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Henry described Carla as a go-getter who loved to live life to its fullest.

“She just never gave up. She was a go-getter.” 

He said they still have many unanswered questions about the death of their only child. 

Photo: Facebook © Provided by The South African Photo: Facebook

“Carla was a healthy young woman with a strong personality. We are still awaiting the post-mortem results.” 

According to Henry, Carla’s last type of medical-related treatment was the booster injection a month before her death. 

“She had the two Pfizer shots vaccine, and then a month ago she went for the booster shot, but she showed the normal side-effects.” 

He said she was a dream child who would have done anything for you. 

“She had a great love for nature and hunted with me because she knew it was a love of mine. But while she was a tomboy in that respect, she also loved the finer things like cooking and baking.” 

Carla and her dad Henry. Photo Facebook © Provided by The South African Carla and her dad Henry. Photo Facebook

A teary Henry said Carla and her mother Carin would go all out every year for his birthday. 

“She loved baking cakes for us. Carla and her mother would spend hours in the kitchen before my birthday to spoil me with all the treats.

“Whatever she did, she did fully. She did not approach a thing half-heartedly,” he said.


According to Henry, it was not possible to donate the organs of Carla – an organ donor – after her death, but Henry and Karin Steytler were informed on Friday morning that their daughter’s tissue could be donated, and they agreed.

“Since Carla did not die in the hospital, her organs were no longer suitable for donation.” 

He said he was amazed to find out that one tissue donor – someone who can donate bone, tendons, cartilage, connective tissue, skin, corneas, sclera, heart valves, and vessels – can impact the lives of as many as 60 people. 


Prof. Alfred Ngowi, the acting vice-chancellor at CUT, reportedly said the university is mourning her death.

“Carla was an active member of the university community and a dedicated class representative in the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences.

“This is truly an unprecedented loss as the academic staff regarded Carla as a student who demonstrated ideal CUT student qualities and was actively involved in the affairs of the department, as she was one of the most dedicated class representatives. Our deepest condolences to Carla’s family and friends for their loss are also our loss. May her soul rest in peace.”

A funeral service for Carla will be held on March 4. The service takes place around 11:00 from the NG church De Aar-Noord.

Carla has the following quote from Dr.Seuss on her Facebook profile:

Today you are YOU, that is truer than true. There is NO ONE alive that is YOU-ER than YOU!


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