Triple heart attack survivor goes home for Christmas

After recovering from three heart attacks and a stroke, 55-year-old Belinda de Beer can spend Christmas at home with her family.

The Krugersdorp woman was discharged from Netcare Krugersdorp Hospital on 12 November after recovering from open-heart surgery and spending two months in hospital, according to a statement.

Her treating physician, Dr Alexia Gugulethu Magubane, describes her recovery as “something of a miracle”.

Belinda suffered two heart attacks on 16 September this year and was admitted to the hospital after her daughter, Ansja, saw her collapse.

Emergency hospital services rushed her to hospital, but were informed upon arrival that there was no cardiologist.

She was later transferred to Netcare Krugersdorp Hospital’s catheterisation laboratory for an emergency angiogram investigation, but while there she suffered a third heart attack as well as a stroke.

According to Dr Magubane, there was a complete lack of electrical brain activity for a few days following the stroke.

“We were all deeply concerned about Mrs De Beer,” Dr Magubane says.

“We treated her in the intensive care unit of the hospital for the stroke and heart condition, and were relieved when she finally came out of the coma.”

Before doctors could operate Belinda had to spend weeks in rehabilitation so her body would be strong enough to survive a heart operation.

Dr Ellias Zigiriadis, a cardiothoracic surgeon, successfully performed the triple heart-bypass operation.

Ansja is extremely grateful to Dr Magubane and Dr Zigiradis “They were unbelievable, explaining everything clearly and honestly to us from the outset and every step of the way.

“Dr Magubane was much more than a doctor. During this difficult time she became a friend of my mother and our family. I don’t think I’ve come across such caring doctors before, and my family and I will be forever grateful to them.”

Ansja believes that losing her husband earlier this year affected her mother deeply and gravely impacted her health.

 “My father was disabled for seven years and my mom took care of him. She has a very big heart. Both of my parents are fighters! We’re extremely grateful and blessed to be able to have my mom with us this festive season and to celebrate her birthday on Christmas day!”