Pippie Kruger has 62nd surgery: ‘For the first time, we can hold hands’

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Pippie Kruger and her mom, Anicè, at the Medictonic in Sandton where Pippie underwent her 62nd surgery. (PHOTO: supplied)
Pippie Kruger and her mom, Anicè, at the Medictonic in Sandton where Pippie underwent her 62nd surgery. (PHOTO: supplied)

Burn victim Pippie Kruger (13) is no stranger to the operating table. Since the disastrous burns accident she suffered as a toddler, the young girl has been through a gamut of surgeries, and recently she had her 62nd operation.

Her mom, Anicè, for whom hospitals and air travel have become a way of life, believes this procedure has made a significant difference to her daughter’s quality of life.

Pippie Kruger, surgery, local, South Africa, burn
Anicè believes this procedure has made a significant difference to her daughter’s quality of life. (PHOTO: supplied)

“As I sat with her this morning, I asked, ‘Can I hold your hand?’ And I realised it’s the first time [since the accident] that Pippie can open her hand again. It’s the small things that make a huge difference every time,” Anicè tells YOU.

She says they travelled to Johannesburg from their home in Still Bay in the Western Cape last week to visit their long-time plastic surgeon, Dr Ridwan Mia, at Mediclinic Sandton. He recommended they stay on for him to perform the latest medical procedures.

READ MORE| Pippie Kruger's mom Anicè  transforms her body: 10kgs down in just 12 weeks

“He did a so-called Z-plasty on her left wrist which entailed cutting small diamonds from the skin to improve the functionality of her arm. He also severed a shortened sinew in her wrist. This now enables the hand to open and close.

“She was also Botoxed from head to toe again,” Anicè explains.

“Her horse, Bold Jazz, broke its leg and was with her the whole time,” Anicè says of the toy Pippie had with her in hospital to keep her calm. “Bold Jazz distracted her all day.”

Pippie Kruger, surgery, local, South Africa, burn
Pippie post-surgery with her beloved horse Bold Jazz. (PHOTO: supplied)

This time, Pippie didn’t need to stay overnight, and she was discharged on the day of the surgery. They’re staying with a friend in Johannesburg and plan to go home over the weekend.

In the past 11 years, Pippie has faced more doctors, nurses and hospitals than most people will have to in a lifetime.

The accident – which occurred when a firestarter gel exploded at the family braai – left Pippie with severe burns all over her body and caused her to suffer brain damage. She’s had five strokes in her short life, which caused all her muscles to contract. The Botox helps to alleviate this. 

READ MORE| She's nearly a teenager! Pippie Kruger's mom on her development and needing more surgery

Last year, YOU wrote about Anicè’s physical transformation when she lost 10kg and 10% body fat by following a low-carb diet and exercising more. She says it’s possible to maintain her regime when she travels, but it’s definitely harder.

“There were a lot more chocolates this week,” she chuckles. Asked what her diet entails, she says, “Do you like meat? Because I eat meat six times a day.”

Pippie Kruger, surgery, local, South Africa, burn
Anicè with Pippie's plastic surgeon, Dr Ridwan Mia. (PHOTO: supplied)
Pippie Kruger, surgery, local, South Africa, burn
Pippie with Dr Mia, who has been treating her from the beginning. (PHOTO: supplied)

They’re planning on seeing Dr Mia for a follow-up consultation in two weeks, Anicè says, and then they’ll also be seeing an orthopaedic surgeon because Pippie’s hips aren’t aligned, which also affects her legs and feet. They’ll take it from there.

“It’s second nature by now, but it doesn’t get easier,” Anicé says bravely. 

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