Circumcision: Marco’s future brighter

By admin
19 March 2010

A bundle of fear in a small white surgical gown – that’s what little Marco van Vuuren looks like. Beneath the blue surgical cap the five-year-old is very cute but the fear never leaves his eyes.

And no wonder. The previous time he was in hospital he screamed hysterically in pain after a doctor, doing a simple circumcision, burnt his penis so badly with nitrogen that half of it eventually fell off, leaving just a little stump.

Even though Marco is scared, today is a day of new hope and fresh beginnings thanks to the warm hearts and open wallets of YOU readers and one amazingly generous benefactor in particular. An angel, as Marco’s mother, Hester (29), calls him.

The story of the boy’s ordeal (YOU, 11 March) touched readers’ hearts and it’s thanks to them that Hester and Marco’s dad, Spekkies (32), are at his hospital bedside today so the damage done last October can be repaired.

Not only will the mystery donor pay the lion’s share of the medical bills he has also donated generously to enable Marco’s parents to be at his side at Newcastle Private Hospital.

The family did not have the R60 000 needed for an operation to reconstruct Marco’s urinal tract and give him a chance of a normal life.

They could never have dreamt that thanks to the generosity of YOU readers Marco’s fortunes would change so radically within two weeks. Readers were so moved by his plight they started a Facebook group for him and people are still depositing money in YOU’s Ubuntu fund to cover his medical expenses.

The Van Vuurens were speechless when they heard about the mystery benefactor who had taken Marco under his wing. He contacted Hester and Dr Mahesh Dhanjee, who is Marco’s urologist, and before the boy had put a foot in hospital he’d donated about R37 000 to Marco’s hospital bill.

And, in keeping with the spirit of incredible generosity to people in need, Dr Dhanjee and the anaesthetist, Dr Rajesh Lutchman, also offered their services free of charge.

LATER in the day Dr Dhanjee declares the op a success. He’ll keep an eye on his young patient in case of infection or possible complications. And in the meantime the money people have donated so generously will be used to pay for Marco’s psychological counselling, Hester says.

“He’s very aggressive. Just now when he went into the theatre he screamed that he hated me. But I know he doesn’t mean it.”

He turns six in June and next year he’ll go to school. “He can count to 20 and draw pictures,” his mom says. “But when he draws a man he makes a big red circle where his sexual organs are supposed to be. But we’ll get through this as well.

“We’ve already had the bad news. All we’re getting now is good news. Things can only get better.”

Read the full article in the 25 March issue of YOU.

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