Helping Kobus and Leilani to get their son "Ricardo" a wheelchair
9-year old Ricardo Schoeman was born with Down Syndrome. He also had a condition which caused swallowed fluids passing directly into his lungs. He was just a day old when this was fixed in an operation in the Steve Biko Academic Hospital. But, this was just the beginning of a life of medical procedures and conditions.
Three months ago, little Ricardo underwent an operation to correct his spine. He however contracted pneumonia and was operated on a month later. This time, he woke up unable to walk and his bladder was not functioning. His parents have been told that Ricardo will never walk again and that he will have to constantly wear a catheter. His mom, Lelani will never be able to work full time again, as Ricardo will now need constant attention. This has put a major financial strain on the family, who are already battling to make ends meet. Our Angel for the next two weeks is SEESA, who will be contributing funds from their September Golf Day to four Good Morning Angels recipients, including Ricardo. Read more on the work and projects of SEESA at www.seesa.co.za
I am writing to you to plead for help for my nephew, Ricardo Schoeman. He is 9-years old and the bravest person I know. Ricardo was born with down-syndrome and an oesophagus deformity, called Tracheoesophageal Fistula (It‚??s an abnormal connection between the esophagus and the trachea, causing swallowed liquids to pass directly into the lungs). When he was only one day old he was transferred to Steve Biko Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to fix his oesophagus.
When Ricardo was about 6 months old he was diagnosed with malrotation, which caused a multiple of intestinal obstructions. In malrotation, the small bowl & colon is not positioned correctly in the abdominal cavity, causing the bowl to twist. He had his second emergency surgery at 7 months old. Since then he also had a Nissen Fundoplasty to cure his Gastroesophageal reflux diseases.
A few months ago Ricardo was diagnosed with severe scoliosis of the spine (over 70 degrees). The severe twisting of his spine caused his ribs to press against his lungs, restricting his breathing, causing chronic pneumonia and lung infections. His doctors warned that if the curve reached 100 degrees, both his lungs and hart can be injured and his spine could snap causing paralyses and even death.
On the 15th of August 2011 Ricardo underwent surgery to fix his spine. The initial feedback from his doctors was that the operation was a complete success, but Ricardo contracted pneumonia and his condition worsened. On the 5th of September 2011, his doctors operated again, this time to take a sample of his lungs to determine what is causing the infection. After the operation Ricardo was unable to move his legs and his bladder did not work. It was established that due to a drop in his blood pressure during the 2nd procedure, the section of his spinal cord that was ‚??bruised‚?? during the back surgery did not get enough blood and was irreparably damaged, causing permanent paralyses.
Ricardo was released from hospital last week, he will never walk again and he will have to wear a catheter for the rest of his life. My sister will not be able to return to work full time as Ricardo will need round the clock nursing for the rest of his life.
My sister and brother-in-law had a rough few years; my sister was retrenched in 2008 and only recently manages to get a new job. They barely get by financially as it is. With only one income and being already in debt because of the last operation, they will not be able to cope with all Ricardo‚??s needs. The medical aid already indicated that they will only contribute R3000-00 toward a wheelchair that costs about R10 000-00. Ricardo will also need a new bed with rails and the bathroom and the rest of the house will need to be modified to accommodate a paraplegic and they will probably need to get a kombi / bigger car.
Even though the rest of the family try to help where we can, none of us are in a position to assist them financially.
Ricardo has been through so much in his short life, but despite all the pain, all the operations and being sick most of his life, he never complained. He lived to play with his dog and to jump on his trampoline ‚?? now he has lost the only joy he had in his life.
If I could take this new burden upon myself and ease some of Ricardo‚??s suffering and his parents sorrow, I would in a heartbeat, but now I can only pray for an Angel to ease their lives and make Ricardo‚??s more comfortable so that his family once again can experience his laughter and joy.
ANGEL: Paul Rothman and Magdarie van Staden from Labour Law, BEE and Skills for Business company, SEESA Gauteng (Magdarie: +27 76 208 8202 or +27 12 810 2090 email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
SPONSORING: Seesa recently held their annual golf day and will pay R 11 000,00 of the funds generated towards Ricardo's needs brought on by his medical condition
ADDITIONAL: Good Morning Angels will add another R 4000,00 from the Good Morning Angels Fund towards Ricardo's medical and other needs.
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