Sipho Hadebe (39 years old), is a friendly and hardworking security guard living in Barberton. These last twelve years, Sipho has been struggling with a tumour growing on his chin (ameloblastoma of the mandible). Without surgery, the growth will soon fatally block his airway, likely within a year. Unfortunately, Nelspruit’s public hospital, Rob Ferreira, was unable to assist him. They referred him to the Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria, where he was placed on a 7-year waiting list.
Due to the grotesque nature of the growth, last year November his employer sent him home without pay - until surgery could be performed. His wife Lindiwe, a supermarket attendant, has been the sole breadwinner since.
Besides the considerable pain making eating and drinking a daily challenge, life has been tough and lonely for Sipho. The growth has meant that the community has rejected him; people avoid him while kids stare and laugh.
As a blessing, Dr Pieter Scheepers, a Maxilla Facial surgeon at Lowveld Hospital, has offered to perform the massive seven-hour reconstructive surgery, free of charge. Lowveld Hospital has also made their operating theatre, equipment and staff available to Sipho for free. Additionally, Lowveld doctor, Dr Hannes Raath, has personally donated the money required to pay for Sipho’s required prosthesis.
These individuals have helped us come a long way in saving Sipho, but there is still some way to go. The remaining anaesthetist fee as well as medicine costs and aftercare, which amount to almost $7,300, is the final hurdle standing between Sipho and a normal, healthy life.
We therefore ask of anyone willing and able, to lend their support to save Sipho’s life and make this dream a reality.