Double amputee boy goes home for Christmas after 9 months in hospital

2016-12-24 07:51
Owethu Chibure shows a work of art he completed (supplied)

Owethu Chibure shows a work of art he completed (supplied)

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Johannesburg – After spending nine months in hospital for extensive rehabilitation following the amputation of his legs and hand, eight-year-old Owethu Chibure went home on Thursday just in time for Christmas.  

Chibure suffered a life-threatening sepsis complication in March after contracting a meningococcus bacterial infection. 

As a result, both of his legs had to be amputated below the knees, as well as his left hand and all of the fingers on his right hand.

After receiving lifesaving treatment at Netcare Garden City Hospital and many months of intensive therapy, Chibure is fully mobile, using the prosthetic limbs that have been custom made for him. 

He is also having a ‘bionic’ myoelectric hand fitted, which will help him to perform such tasks as tying his shoelaces or typing on a computer.

The hospital said that Chibure is extremely grateful for the ‘bionic’ hand.  

The hospital said he demonstrated the effectiveness of the hand by adeptly grasping a glass of water firmly between the stump of his left hand and the five little stubs left on his right hand. He was also able to put his legs on by himself.

Owethu Chibure shows off his new  'bionic' myoelectric hand (supplied)

Chibure’s doctor said in a statement by the hospital that it was abnormal for children to stay in the hospital for such a long period. 

“Owethu is the longest staying paediatric patient we have ever cared for at the hospital,” said Dr Wilson. 

“He is a truly remarkable boy; a real survivor who, thanks to his tenacity and bravery as well as committed support by his parents and appropriate medical care and rehabilitation, has succeeded in overcoming massive physical as well as emotional trauma.”

Dr Wilson said that it has by no means been an easy journey for the young man. 


The meningococcus infection he contracted at the beginning of 2016 caused blood clots to shoot into Chibure’s smaller blood vessels, effectively causing his extremities to start dying.

“Seeing him today, you would never believe that Owethu had undergone such a harrowing journey this past year. He has unbelievable vigour and spirit, and has been an inspiration to the doctors and staff at the hospital. We will all miss his wonderful energy,” Wilson said. 

Chibure’s father, Lazarus Chibure, said that his son’s condition had been difficult for the family, particularly as his recovery had taken so long. 

They had to travel from Sasolburg to Johannesburg every time they wanted to visit Owethu. 

Lazarus said he was now “greatly looking forward” to having his son at home for the holidays and thanks staff at Netcare Rehabilitation and Netcare Garden City hospitals.

“He received a great deal of loving care at both facilities and their teamwork is to a large extent responsible for getting Owethu home to us once more.”

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  good news  |  health

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