Good Morning Angels: Helping a paramedic after a horrifying accident

Good Morning Angels: Helping a paramedic after a horrifying accident

Paramedic Riëtte has been an Angel to many; now she needs some help!

GMA Riette
Jacaranda FM

With another extra-long weekend to look forward to, road safety is a big concern for those of us who will be travelling.  

South Africa’s road safety record is alarming, with the Easter weekend earlier this month having claimed 225 lives in 185 accidents. It is in these times that we salute the women and men who rush to the scene to help - the lifesavers - the paramedics.

One of these dedicated paramedics is Riëtte du Plessis, who served on the roads of Gauteng for almost 15 years. 

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In January, her life changed instantly in a road accident. 

Riëtte was riding her motorcycle home when a bakkie made a U-turn on the road. Riëtte was unable to avoid the crash and landed under the bakkie with her bike on top of her.   

Her years of working as a paramedic kicked in. Even while she went in and out of consciousness, she dispatched her own ambulance, police, and EMPD.  

Riëtte sustained multiple injuries: a shattered pelvis, both hips fractured, two broken ribs, and three broken vertebrae in her back. 

She spent many weeks in hospital and has had several operations, with more to come.

Her pelvis has still not healed, and she cannot move her left leg. It is unclear to what extent she will recover or if she can ever work as a paramedic again. 

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Riëtte’s medical aid and leave have been depleted, which means that she is not able to earn an income. Her wife, Jeanli, has been taking care of her, and they’ve moved in with her sister, Elsje, who is the only one keeping this family going financially. 

Several people who know Riëtte, like Tracy Bronkhorst, have reached out to Good Morning Angels for assistance. Tracy says she is one of the many whose life has been saved by Riëtte, “our beloved paramedic". 

REQUEST FOR: Riëtte du Plessis and her wife, Jeanli.

REQUEST FROM: Several listeners like Tracy Bronkhorst 

ANGEL 1: Hein van Rooyen from The Round Table

SPONSORING: The Round Table and their supporters will assist Riëtte with R20,000 to help with medical and other needs! That’s not all; they will also build a brand new bathroom on the ground floor for Riëtte, with accessibility for her mobility needs.

ANGEL 2: The Good Morning Angels Fund NPC

SPONSORING: The Good Morning Angels Fund will match the Round Table cash donation with another R20,000 to help Riëtte and her family in her time of need.


Morning Angels,  

I humbly write to you today to request assistance for our beloved Paramedic, Riëtte.

On the 19th of January, Riëtte drove back home after she attended a doctor’s appointment at the hospital 5kms from home. Riette was standing still at the robot, and once the light turned green, she started driving. Riette was in the right lane. She then realised a bakkie was making a U-turn (from the left lane) in front of her. 

Unfortunately, Riëtte was on her bike and tried to avoid the accident by braking but could not. Riette slammed into the right side of the bakkie and landed under the bakkie with the bike on top of her. 

Riette, whilst lying under the car in and out of consciousness, dispatched her own ambulance, police and EMPD. 

Riëtte’s pelvis was shattered, her hips were fractured, two broken ribs and three vertebrae in her back were broken in this accident. The doctor referred to it as polytrauma. She currently has no feeling in her left leg and can’t move or lift her leg. Riëtte lay in hospital for 31 days; several operations later, she is now home for a further eight weeks or longer. Her employer, the private ambulance service, has now put her on unpaid leave, which is understandable; they have a business to run. 

This same woman has saved so many lives over her career of almost 15 years. She has put herself in danger time and time again, going to volatile areas and entering dangerous situations to save a life. Can we not do the same? Save her financially?

There is no guarantee that she will ever be a full-acting operational paramedic ever again; her passion and career lost because of an accident. What we ask for is financial and medical support. Obviously, her medical aid is depleted, her sick leave is depleted financially, and she is under severe pressure now. 

Her wife has had to stop working to nurse Riëtte back to health. Jeanli, her sister, has taken both in to ease the burden, but one person cannot do it all. Financially, there is no monthly income coming in and her sister is bearing the full brunt of the financial costs. 

Riëtte is returning to surgery tomorrow as her wounds are infected. I am unable to send photos as the wounds are horrific. The surgery tomorrow is to remove the damaged or infected tissue; hopefully, there will be no foreign objects under the skin.  Her skin is eating itself, literally eating itself.

Riëtte is completely depressed; her passion ripped away. The focus now is to financially gaining control of the numerous medical bills coming that are not covered by medical aid as the medical is depleted. Most of all we need to focus to Riëtte’s state of mind being peaceful and focused toward healing and fighting depression. Her family,  sister Jeanli and wife Elsje are under immense pressure to be a support her, mentally, physically and emotional. Not only are they there for her emotionally but the financial stain is taking its toll, despite their own troubles.  A dark cloud over the home.  

We would love to build an outdoor shower for Riëtte’s easy access, basic monthly costs are behind, car payment is now behind, all basic monthly expenses are behind and are only going to get further behind with this new development we do not believe she will be back at work within the next 6 weeks, if at all. Current debt is sitting at R148 000.00 to date. She has no movement of her left side leg whatsoever.

We as a community beseech you – help our Paramedic as she has helped so many others.  

Riëtte’s neighbour, friend and someone she saved,

Tracy Bronkhorst

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