Ruth represented South Africa in three Africa Cup of Nations but
since 2011 her life has been a living hell.
Ruth represented South Africa in three Africa Cup of Nations but since 2011 her life has been a living hell.
Ruth Makhosi Luthuli is a 46-year old qualified soccer coach from KwaZulu-Natal. She hit the headlines as a fierce Banyana Banyana midfielder - nicknamed "Troublemaker”. She represented SA in three Africa Cup of Nations. However, since 2011 her life has been a living hell.
Ruth noticed a swelling on the left side of her face and went to her local clinic for a check-up. She was told it was probably an abscess in her upper jaw, she was prescribed antibiotics and sent home.
The swelling did not go away - in fact, it became worse and grew to an enormous growth.
She went to three different hospitals for a diagnosis and treatment. The Albert Luthuli Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal did scans, and she was finally diagnosed with an Adenocarcinoma - or type of glandular cancer.
She received chemo therapy at the state hospital - however, it’s known that this kind of cancerous tumour does not respond to chemo.
Earlier this year, Operation Healing Hands was introduced to Ruth’s plight.
They had absolutely no idea of her former fame as a national female soccer star - they only saw her desperate plight for help.
Good Morning Angels: @DiBroodryk is at the Wilgers hospital standing by to speak to @MartinBester to give an update on Ruth Luthuli, former Banyana Banyana player’s, progress. #JacaBreakfast pic.twitter.com/OUYziRkw5Z— JacaBreakfast (@JacaBreakfast) July 25, 2018
On 18 July 2018 - Mandela Day - Dr Frits Hoogendijk headed a team of health professionals who operated on Ruth.
She was one of the 18 Operation Healing Hands patients, that were operated on over a two-week period - to answer Madiba’s call that “it’s in your hands.”
Not only did they remove the growth - they built and implanted a new prosthetic upper jaw for Ruth - as her own upper jaw had been eaten away by the cancer growth.
Pre-op her left eye was swollen shut and her nose was completely covered by the growth. Dr Hoogendijk was very pleased that they could save her eye and keep her nose intact.
Once Ruth has healed in a few weeks’ time, she will have minimal scarring on her face, she would be able to eat, speak, breathe and see normally again - her life would be back to normal.
All the surgery, prosthetics, hospital and after care had been donated by the Wilgers Hospital, health professionals and suppliers under the banner of Operation Healing Hands. (According to dr. Hoogendijk the entire process can be costed at R1 Million - at no cost to Ruth)
Good Morning Angels: A surprise heartwarming phone call from former Bafana Bafana coach, Shakes Mashaba to Ruth Luthuli on Breakfast with Martin Bester this morning: “God is great, my darling.”
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