On Monday morning, the 23rd of January 2017, my life changed forever. My husband was found unconscious...he suffered a stroke, at the very young age of 44. The paramedics arrived but couldn't revive him so when in the ambulance they announced a code red, that's when i realised the seriousness of the situation. In the trauma unit he went into cardiac arrest twice but through God's grace he didn't die that morning!! He was on life support with total organ failure. Every doctor thought he was going to die so on the Tuesday I took our daughter's Lara (13 years old) and Kate (11 years old) and his 84 year old Dad who is terminally ill with cancer, who we look after, to go and say goodbye to Riaan and to tell him that they love him. The neurologist did an EEG to see if he was braindead,which would then determine whether or not to switch the life support off. I remember praying to God not to let me have to make that decision, and He answered my prayer. There was brain activity....it was very small, but it was there. Riaan was not brain dead. He was fighting to stay alive. He was in a coma for 2 weeks and slowly we prayed for small miracles. First that he would open his eyes, and he did! Then that he would breathe without the ventilator....miracle after miracle was unfolding before us. People all over the world were praying for Riaan. God answered all our prayers. All the doctors told me that they couldn't believe it, they thought he would die! It was during a prayer with a very good friend of mine, who is also a minister, that a message from God came to me, God said "I've got this!" and I knew then that God is in control, and not me.
Riaan's lungs, kidney, liver has all healed...he's healthy again, but has been left with brain damage. Unfortunately he can't walk, can't dress himself, is still learning how to talk, and is in a wheelchair. After being in ICU and hospital for 12 weeks he went to a step down facility, but now needs intensive rehab. At the moment I am a single mother with no other income. Riaan is a musician meaning without work there is no income coming in, and it is unlikely at this stage that he will ever return to work. Even though i am on an excellent medical aid, we don't have gap cover and the medical bills are piling up. Riaan now needs to be placed in a rehabilitation home where he can be given the best chance of recovery, but unfortunately this is something that needs to be fully self funded. Although asking people for financial help is the last place I would like to go, I have realised that this battle cant be fought on my own, and am appealing to the wonderful community to assist wherever possible to get Riaan the best care possible.