The Angels of Middelburg come together for 14-year-old AJ Bothma

The Angels of Middelburg come together for 14-year-old AJ Bothma

The Good Morning Angels Fund contributed R50,000 towards the Bothma's Fundraising efforts to help AJ with his medical needs. 

AJ Bothma GMA

AJ Bothma, 14, is in grade eight at HTS Middelburg. He’s an avid rugby and cricket player who has grown up next to the sports field, as his dad, Dirk, is a teacher and coach.

AJ has been a fighter since birth. He was born via an emergency cesarian and was clinically dead for several minutes  - before doctors revived him. 

AJ received blood transfusions and spent six weeks in ICU before going home. His kidneys have been a concern since his birth, but despite this, AJ developed his rugby and cricket talent with all his heart.

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In April this year, his parents realised that something was up and took AJ to the doctor. After several tests, he was referred to a specialist at a Centurion hospital, who confirmed that he only had one functioning kidney, which was drastically undersized with a total kidney function of 7%. 

She also broke the news to AJ that he would never be able to play rugby or cricket again. 

AJ is devastated by this prospect, but dad Dirk keeps him positive and says he would support him to become a referee and coach - but first he has to get better.

AJ needs a kidney transplant, and a test will be conducted in a few weeks' time to find a suitable donor.

In the meantime, AJ gets dialysis for 12 hours every day at home; from 5pm to 5am on a machine his family rents from the hospital.

AJ is currently writing exams at school, even though the school said he did not have to. 

Dirk says this keeps him focused and positive, while they are very mindful to keep him safe from infection.

AJ is on a medical aid, but some bills are not covered. The financial burden is piling up - travel between Middelburg and Centurion, accommodation when needed. They are also very worried about the power situation, as any interruption overnight could be disastrous for AJ’s dialysis needs.

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A fundraising page has been set up, with a target of R300,000 - members of the Middelburg community have already paid in more than R160,000, and they are organising a fundraiser music concert.


REQUEST FROM: Several listeners, including Helen Meyer 

ANGEL: The Good Morning Angels Fund NPC

SPONSORING: The Good Morning Angels Fund will contribute R50,000 towards the Bothmas' Fundraising efforts to help AJ with his medical needs.


AJ Bothma was stillborn on 2010-06-01 by emergency caesarean section. After 30 minutes, doctors were able to get him going.

His blood count was 12 where it should have been 36, after six weeks in ICU 12 points of blood were transfused for him. At six months they rebuilt his kidney valves. The urologist said everything was fine and kidney funks were 50%. At nine years old, the Urologist checked again with surgery. and everything appeared normal. 

In April 2023, we picked up AJ's breath smelling bad and our house doctor requested blood tests. It was found that red blood count is 2 below the minimum and kidney function is 10%. We struggled for more than a month to find a place with a neurologist.

We were referred to a specialist in Centurion. She confirmed that AJ only has one functioning kidney. This kidney is 1.9x5.6 cm – the size of a baby’s kidney. They immediately started blood dialysis. His kidney function has decreased to 7%. They put in a dialysis tube, and he was in ICU. 

AJ is currently at home, where he is on a dialysis machine from 5 pm to 5 am every day. They will start tests for a suitable candidate for transplantation in a month’s time.

Our challenge is the costs with transportation, bills that medical aid won't pay, the dialysis machine that we rent from the hospital and of course, the machine has to run all night.. With load-shedding and power failures, it will be a problem because we don't have solar. So we have to look at that and all medical expenses. 

Any help/donation would be appreciated.

Thank you,

The Bothma family


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