Supporting surgeries

2018-11-06 06:00
Angela Abrahams, Azola Gadi, Dr Gary Dos Passos and Lindokuhle Gadi (front). PHOTOs: Nomzamo Yuku

Angela Abrahams, Azola Gadi, Dr Gary Dos Passos and Lindokuhle Gadi (front). PHOTOs: Nomzamo Yuku

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Ten little patients went through their second surgeries as part of the Smile Week commemoration at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital from Monday 29 to Wednesday 31 October.

The surgeries were made possible through the partnership of Smile Foundation and Vodacom Foundation who funded the
operations.

The week was filled with mixed emotions as the patients were treated to goodies during their stay at the hospital, waiting for their operations.

Families of the patients said the support provided for the children calmed them and gave them hope that there are people who care.

Lindokuhle Gadi from Lower Cross Roads in Philippi arrived at the hospital on Sunday 28 October. She said the wait was stressful and that having some distraction was helpful for them.

Her son was left with a severe burn wound on his neck after playing with matches at his home in February this year.

The mobile company dedicated a team of 20 volunteers to help and entertain the children during the week.

It also donated two children’s mobile
libraries.

Dr Gary Dos Passos, head of the hospital’s Burn Unit, thanked the two organisations for making the surgeries possible for their patients. “Both the physical and psychological scars in the burn victim serve as a constant reminder of the suffering they
endured.

“Unfortunately, resources limit the availability of reconstructive procedures to help maximise their recovery. Thanks to Smile Foundation and Vodacom Foundation, a few more children will be gifted the hope of a normal future.”

Smile Foundation CEO, Hedley Lewis, said their hope is for the patients’ journey to be a success. He said it is unique opportunity for them (and Vodacom) to afford the specialists at the hospital who can make a difference.

“This week is really a privilege that we have the opportunity to have Red Cross Smile Week with Vodacom’s support. The support that we have is R100 000 for 10 children. We are giving them an extra opportunity to help children from a wide variety of backgrounds. And our message for patients and families is that support is available and that they should not blame themselves for what happened.”

Angela Abrahams, the executive head of the Vodacom Foundation, said they support the Smile Foundation in transforming lives and want to help the children reach their full potential.

Takalani Netshitenzhe, chief officer for corporate affairs at Vodacom Group. says: “As a telecom with strong local roots, we are excited to be part of the Smile Week as some of the surgeries to be performed this time around will be ground-breaking in our medical history. As an active corporate citizen, we are pioneers of social transformation through ICT, and our Corporate Social Investment ethos is that we invest and empower disadvantaged communities, so that they improve their quality of life and play a meaningful role in society.”

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