He was looking forward to the surgery – in fact, he was quite excited about it. It would mean he’d be free of the backache that had been plaguing him and he’d be able to go hiking with friends, gyming with his brother and gaming with his girlfriend and prepare for the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games.
But things didn’t go as planned for Achmat Hassiem from Strandfontein, Cape Town. Complications from the procedure left the 39-year-old in a coma for weeks and at the time of going to print his family were still waiting for him to wake up.
“I just want to help him,” says his mom, Thoraiyah Hassiem (60). “But there’s nothing we can do – this is our life now. We sit at the hospital the whole day and then come home.”