Pippie’s first day at ‘home’

2012-08-13 00:00

PIPPIE Kruger swopped her bed at the Netcare Rehabilitation hospital in Auckland Park for the weekend in a pink bed at “Mamma se huis” in Melville.

This was the first time that the three-year-old burn survivor slept outside a hospital room since her accident on New Year’s Eve. She returns to the rehab hospital today.

Her weekend trip started just before 2 pm on Saturday, when mom Anice and dad Erwin took her to Anice’s rented flat near the hospital.

Pippie was bundled up in a blanket to protect her against the cold snap and wore large pink sunglasses against the sharp sun.

Anice, whose husband works in Lephalale (Ellisras), has been renting the furnished flat in Melville since Pippie was admitted to the Garden City hospital, to be closer to her daughter. Erwin visits both as often as he can, while the couple’s one-year-old son, Arno, stays with his grandparents in Lephalale.

The small flat was so full of visitors yesterday that there was not even standing room inside.

Anice told Pippie she was “at mom’s house”, as she laid down her daughter for the first time on a pink bed full of dolls.

Dr Ridwan Mia, Pippie’s plastic surgeon, also dropped by with Dr Hazir Mukaddam, the anaesthetist who stood by during her operations. Mia said he only made house calls for special cases.

Carmin Wright, an occupational therapist, and speech therapist Musthura Khan arrived with a big bag of toys and both spent time working with Pippie.

She blew bubbles and licked chocolate off a stick to make her tongue stronger, all in aid of getting her to talk again.

Pippie’s extensive trauma caused her to regress to a baby and she is not talking at all at this stage. Khan said they will first teach her basic sounds before getting her to form words. She can hold her head up for only a short while and only has three small plasters on her body — one on each elbow and one on her chest.

She is taking medication to treat a minor bladder infection and the itching of her new, healing skin. When the itching gets too bad, her mother or father scratches her lightly in the neck or on her side and the small girl relaxes immediately.

The skin on her face is healing fast and the scarring is being limited with tissue oil and a silicone-based cream.

Mia said Pippie looked calmer out of the hospital and he hoped she would get out of the hospital more often.

“She must be over-stimulated at this stage. One has to think of her as a small baby. If she just stays in the hospital room she will not develop,” he said.

Anice said she was initially afraid to even ask if she could take Pippie home for the weekend.

“I was afraid they [the doctors] would say no,” Anice said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.