Nine-year-old Michael Kgolane, who was born with deformed lower legs and has not been able to walk, will soon have artificial, or prosthetic, limbs thanks to the kindness of a Pretoria family.
The Good Samaritan family, who wish to remain anonymous, were travelling in the Groblersdal area recently when they saw a group of youngsters pushing Michael along the side of the road in a wheelbarrow. The family stopped their car and asked the children where they were taking Michael. The youngsters informed the family that they were taking Michael to play with his friends, as he himself could not walk there.
Photo: Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Mart-Mari Visser with Michael Kgolane after his recent surgery at Netcare Pretoria East Hospital. A local family decided to help the disabled boy and fund his medical care after seeing him being pushed along a road in a wheelbarrow.
This completely chance encounter made such a strong impression on the family that they decided to forgo the overseas trip they had planned, and rather use the money to fund Michael’s medical care and the prosthetic limbs that will enable the youngster from Groblersdal to have greatly improved mobility and quality of life.
“This family’s unbelievable kindness enabled Michael, who has never been able to walk, to undergo a successful surgery at the end of November to amputate his deformed lower legs and surgically shape the stumps in preparation for being fitted with prosthetic limbs fitted next year,” says Dr Mart-Mari Visser, an orthopaedic surgeon who practises at Netcare Pretoria East Hospital and performed the surgery.
“This wonderful young boy who is always smiling and never complains, is recovering well in hospital from the surgery. Once Michael has fully healed, he will be ready to have his prosthetic limbs designed and fitted. These should greatly improve his quality of life,” adds Dr Visser.
Michael’s mother, Ditebogo Kglane, says that she will be forever grateful to the family who enabled her son to be helped and to get prosthetic legs.
“The kindness of this family that has helped us has been unbelievable,” reflects Kglane. “My family and I would like to thank these caring people, and everyone who has been involved in treating him, from the bottom of our hearts.
“Up until now, Michael has had to get around our home on his knees, and we have had to use a wheelbarrow to get him to school and to see his friends, because we have not been able to afford a wheelchair. Once his new prosthetic legs have been fitted he will be able to walk for the first time,” she observes.
According to Kglane, the Pretoria family first arranged for Michael to see De La Rey Pretorius, a medical orthotist and prothetist at Netcare Pretoria East Hospital. Pretorius then referred the boy to Dr Visser for the necessary surgery and medical care at the hospital, and will go on to design, develop and fit Michael’s prosthetic legs.
“This family’s kindness in arranging that Michael gets the help and support he needs has been absolutely incredible and shows that there are caring people in the community out there,” notes Mokgekolo Morare, nursing services manager at Netcare Pretoria East Hospital.
“The family have enabled Michael, who is such an energetic and bright young boy and whose bravery has won the hearts of the doctors and staff at Netcare Pretoria East Hospital, to look forward in hope to a life of greater independence. This family also accommodated Michael and his father in their home ahead of the boy’s hospital admission,” she adds.
“They have given Michael an immense gift of hope this festive season and are an inspiration to us all, ” concludes Morare.
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Mart-Mari Visser with Michael Kgolane after his recent surgery at Netcare Pretoria East Hospital. A local family decided to help the disabled boy and fund his medical care after seeing him being pushed along a road in a wheelbarrow.
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville, and Pieter Rossouw
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
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