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COBUS VISSER - the haemophiliac who decided to take control of his life

By Faeza
21 April 2017

Being 1 in 1000 globally to be diagnosed with Haemophilia Cobus Visser felt like he was unable to care for himself and his family.

He wasn’t able to carry his son for 4 years after his birth in 2009 as he had too much pain in both elbows which affected their relationship. He says, “son would draw family portraits but would scratch out my face, upon asking him why he did this he said it was because I was dead to him. My wife had to look after me daily and sometimes even bathed me, she did the driving, looking after kids and so much more”.

Haemophilia has physical and social effects that impact the life of not only the person living with the disease by their family as well.

Haemophilia is a disorder in which blood doesn't clot normally, this results in excessive bleeding (external and internal) after any injury or damage.

Symptoms include many large or deep bruises, joint pain and swelling, unexplained bleeding and blood in urine or stool.

Cobus Visser is an amazing example of a person who has a disease that has taken over their body, but did not allow it to take over his life. Cobus has had to deal a lot in his 34 years of living with Haemophilia, from difficulty to control the bleeding episodes, arthritic pains, physical disability to social issues just to name a few. In December of 2014 he was admitted to hospital in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape with a cerebral bleed and was at deaths door.

This was a turning point for Cobus s most haemophilia’s die of these kinds of bleeds. After two weeks in hospital he healed and could go home after spending Christmas and New Year in hospital. Most days he had to spend in bed which was very depressing as sometimes it was too painful to get out of bed and some nights he would cry himself to sleep. He says, “looking at my sons, how can I be a father if I am in bed all day?”

So in 2015 he decided to apply everything he had learnt from 2011 to get himself out of that state and he did. With all this hanging over him, he came to a defining moment at a seminar, and told himself something had to change. He thought, “I'm dying!’ This is where he discovered how powerful we as human beings truly are and how uniquely we are made. It was then that he had his first experience fire-walking. In 30 weeks (7 months) he was already walking normally without any wheelchair or crutches and mostly no pain, he had taken back ownership of his body, taking back ownership of his body.

Today Cobus is living his dream and giving hope to thousands of people, by sharing his story by letting them know that Haemophilia is not the end of the world he says, “don’t allow this disease to take over your life”.

In the spirit of spreading the message Cobus and his business partner Romy, who was diagnosed with MS (Multiple sclerosis) in 2011, travel locally and internationally as motivational speakers and authors educating people about these diseases and how to manage them.

As someone who is passionate about sharing his message and educating others about his disease he wants people to become aware of.

World Haemophilia Day is an international observance held annually, on April 17, by the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH). It is an awareness day for hemophilia and other bleeding disorders, which also serves to raise funds and attract volunteers for the WFH.

Our World Hemophilia Day has “HEAR THEIR VOICES” as a Theme for 2017.On this World Hemophilia Day, let’s come together to show our support for the millions of men, woman and children affected globally by bleeding disorders.