While South Africa has some of the best medical trauma units in the world, our state medical services and hospitals are unable to meet the demands of all the patients who need treatment – especially those who cannot afford private care. Thankfully, South African doctors not only take their Hippocratic Oath seriously, many subscribe to the spirit of ubuntu, going over and above the call of duty to ensure that their patients get the best possible outcomes.
Doctor Dylan Joseph, Dr Chris Joseph, Dr Torres- Holmes and Dr Serwalo Ramagaga are a perfect example of this. Doctor Dylan Joseph and Dr Chris Joseph set up contact with leading members of the ophthalmology unit at Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Dr Torres-Holmes and Dr Serwalo Ramagaga and helped change a young boy’s life by providing a much-needed operation pro-bono.
Josias Maboka had an accident when he was a young boy, leaving him with a blocked tear duct that was causing him constant discomfort. A fall off a jungle gym resulted in multiple broken bones on his face, requiring extensive treatment. The doctors at a government hospital he was taken to following the accident repaired what they could, but a bone shard had shifted, leading to the blockage in his tear duct.
For years, Josias’s mother, a Housekeeper at MIP Holdings’ Johannesburg offices, had to drain his tear duct every few days. This was not only painful, but the regular inflammation affected Josias’s ability to concentrate at school, adding to his distress. When MIP’s management became aware of the situation, they immediately started looking for ways to assist, ultimately leading to the life-changing operations performed by Dr Mark Torres-Holmes and Dr Serwalo Ramagaga.
Recommended by Dr Sian Hartshorn, the specialists immediately offered their pro-bono services when they become aware of Josias’s plight. The team, which consisted of an anaesthetist, an ophthalmologist, and an Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon, had to perform multiple procedures in order to clear the blockage.
“We would like to honour these doctors for their generosity and their integrity. None of the specialists hesitated to assist when we approached them, and they ensured that Josias was comfortable every step of the way. The results have been remarkable, and we are extremely pleased to know that we played a small role in helping to make a young boy’s life easier,” says Richard Firth, CEO of MIP Holdings.
“We are grateful to the specialists at the ophthalmology unit at Steve Biko Academic Hospital for helping Josias gain the confidence and comfort to be able to integrate back into the academic school day,” he concludes.
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