Hope in a ‘hopeless world’


Another successful surgery on a pae­diatric patient, Nkosana Ndaba (12) who suffered from a condition that obscured his eyes has given his mother, Magauta hope for a better life for her child.

The boy is one of the 25 fortunate children who benefited from this year’s Smile Week, an initiative of the Smile Foundation.

The Smile Foundation is a South African non-governmental organisation with a comprehensive health care vision for children living with facial conditions.

Vodacom market Central Region Manager, Marelize Beukes says R21 million has been spend thus far on life-changing operations for paediatric patients.

This she said at the Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, marking the successful surgeries that had been completed.

The surgeries are done annually as part of a joint initiative funded by Vodacom and supported by the Free State Department of Health.

Nkosana has had a few successful operations to better his facial condition, which Maguata described as challenging and unfortunate.

However, she said the latest surgery had made a huge difference to her only child.

“I’m very pleased that this surgery has gone well. It gives me great hope in a hopeless world that my child’s condition will ultimately improve to a level that is acceptable,” said Maguata.

“It has taken years to get it to this stage, but I never lost hope. I’m also pleased to get assistance from the different organisations that include the Smile Foundation, and doctors who do not give up, but work tirelessly to remedy Nkosana’s condition.

“It certainly has been very hard attempting to improve the condition of my son. I’m grateful to God that He continues helping my child and us, his parents, in every respect.

“There is one thing that has never crossed my mind, nor that of his father’s: to abandon this child due to his complex condition.

“We are trying to give him love, care and provide for him. He is our gift.

“I believe the love and care we give is very critical for his survival, in every surgery, and his wellbeing. Every form of assistance we get is God’s answer to our prayer.

“The good that happened lately after undergoing surgery, is that he no longer lifts up part of his skin on the other eye to be able to see. It now happens naturally as one would expect and want.”

Prof. Fred Jooste, Head of Department for Plastic Surgery said the operations done to control the skin over Nkosana’s eyes have improved the condition and made it possible for him to see with one eye, at least.