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GMA Extra: Burn victim Sean Smith has arrived at the Milpark burns unit, with the help of Jacaranda FM listeners

Burn victim, Sean Smith, has successfully been transferred. Enough funds were raised for Sean to be transferred and treated. Thank you to everyone who helped so far. 

smith burn


The transfer from George Mukhari Hospital happened only late yesterday, but it happened! Enough funds were raised for Sean to be transferred and treated. Thank you to everyone who helped so far!!!

This update on Facebook: Hero Sean Smith

On arrival the doctor told us that Sean's left lung collapses, thankfully he picked it up immediately when he was brought into resus.

The doctor explained to us that he is going to put a tight masks on for him to help bring up the lung and he will monitor him for the next 4 hours. Should that not be working to his satisfaction he would have to put him back on the ventilator. Let's pray that he can do this without the ventilator. I could see that he was very tired. I have full faith in the Doctors. The nurses made us feel so comfortable and at home.

He will be going to theater after 14h00. Tonight will be the first night in 2 weeks that my mind is at ease. I know he is in safe hands and in a safe & secured environment. Thank you to everyone for your prayers and well wishes! Be brave and strong Sean, you have so many people praying for you. You are a true hero and I know you can do this. Thank you Annerie - Hero Burn Foundation for all your love, support, hard work behind the scenes. Words are not enough but please know that you are also my #Hero

Oodles of love


BACKGROUND:  Last Wednesday, we met Sean Smith, his mom, Me-Lissa, a family friend Amoré and Annerie du Plooy from the Hero Burn Foundation. 

Sean was a healthy, helpful 16-year old son of a mother of four when tragedy struck on Monday 17 October 2016. He was helping out with a gardening service, when he tried to help a lady with a car problem. The vehicle was leaking oil. He popped the bonnet and inspected the engine to find the leak. He used petrol to clean the oil off his hands. At this time, someone  nearby lit a cigarette and Sean caught fire. He sustained 3rd and 2nd degree burns to 42% of his body. His hand, neck and chin were severely burnt, as well as parts of his torso and back. He also sustained internal burn wounds from inhaling the flames. As a single mother of four, Me-Lissa is struggling to keep up financially and she does not have a medical aid for her family.

Sean had been in theater twice, but he urgently needed to be transferred to a hospital with a burns unit. He was n the George Mukhari Ga-Rankuwa State Hospital, where the burns unit is not up and running yet and there was no space in the Baragwanath Hospital for him.

This meant, that he needed to be transferred to a private hospital which was way beyond his mother’s financial means. A prelim estimate is that they need R800 000,00 deposit to be admitted, but after more discussion the private hospital said  Sean would have to stay and stabilise before he could be moved again.

The target moved up to around R2 million rand as Sean needs extensive surgeries and treatment.

Since last Wednesday, the funds for Sean grew to R1,7 million by Thursday evening, with more pledges to be honoured!

BANKING DETAIL: Hero Burn Foundation NPO 124-379

                              Nedbank Branch 198 765

                              Account Number 1 047 234 327    

                              Ref:  SEAN

GoGetFunding account:

More info: 



Dear Dianne and Jacaranda Angels,

We are in dire need of raising funds to help Hero and Burn Survivor Sean Smith (16) from Theresa Park in Pretoria North, in being transferred to a Private Burn Hospital.

Sean Sustained 3rd and 2nd degree burns to 42% of his body on Monday the 17th of October at approximately 15:00 when his shirt caught fire after a cigarette was lit near him.  Sean wiped his hands with his shirt after he cleaned his oil covered hands with petrol. He offered to help fix a oil leak on a vehicle of the woman where he helped out that specific afternoon with a gardening service in Eldoraigne.

Amore Sameera Jooste, a very good friend of Sean’s mother Mé-Lissa Smith, was immediately contacted by the woman and a friend and Amore then rushed with Sean to Hospital in Centurion.

Doctors immediately started to treat Sean at Casualties and Amore remembers him screaming until he was anaesthetised.  Fear and trauma overwhelmed Amore at that stage as she realised the seriousness of Sean’s condition.  Amore by then already made contact with Annerie Du Plooy from Hero Burn Foundation for support.

Mé-Lissa, Sean’s mother was not home, as she was sent abroad for work the day before. Amore contacted her to urgently return home.   

Being the single mother of 4 wonderful children, Mé-Lissa cannot afford a medical aid.

Sean sustained severe burns and doctors had to make the decision to sedate and ventilate him immediately.  He needed an Isolated ICU bed in a Provincial State Hospital equipped to look after him given the seriousness of his injuries.

Hero Sean sustained third degree burns, with most serious wounds to his hands, chin and neck.  His back, torso and arms also sustained partial 3rd degree burns and internal burns due to the inhalation of the flames.  There were no available beds in a State Hospital equipped to look after him and the financial burden started, as he needed to be admitted to the Trauma ICU at Private Hospital Rate.

The following morning Unitas advised that an deposit of R40,000 needed to be made and generous donations helped here.  Amore and Annerie knew that funds needed to be raised urgently and started with social media and contact campaigns to spread the word. There were still no bed available to accommodate Sean.

Sean was critical but stable by day two, and doctors advised that they urgently needed to find a bed for Sean as he had to go to theater by latest day 3, to clean wounds and start with debridement of these wounds or he could get infection which is life threatening. Amore had the very difficult task in fetching Mé-Lissa from the airport and advising her of Sean’s accident.

By Wednesday there was still no bed available for Sean and the Hospital then advised that the cost for the hospital and theatre will be covered by them until a bed is sourced in a State Hospital.  He urgently needed to go to theater - he started to show signs of infection and he became unstable.

On Thursday at 10:30 Hero Sean went for his first theater session in Hospital and after 3 and a half hours the doctor advised Mé-Lissa that the most damage was to Sean’s hands, chin and neck.  After the cleaning of his wounds surgical removal of dead tissue in theatre, the hospital advised us that an Isolation bed in ICU in George Mukhari Ga’Rankuwa may be opening up, but that Sean will only be moved when stable enough..

Friday Morning at about 8:30 Shaun’s right lung collapsed and drs worked on him in the ICU to stabilise him again - We were advised that the bed at George Mukhari was ready for Shaun to be transferred to.  At about 15:00 Friday afternoon Shaun was moved from the private hospital to George Mukhari via ICU Ambulance and was admitted in the ICU ward of the State Hospital.

Blood works and X-Rays were done and Shaun were put on antibiotics for an indicative infection that they picked up.  This past weekend was a rollercoaster of emotions as Shaun’s condition deteriorated with his fever rising and increased pulse rate of 132.

George Mukhari Burn Unit is in fact not open yet and Sean is currently in isolation in ICU - his wounds were looked at and done in ICU on Saturday and doctor advised that if all goes well Shaun will go to theater on Monday for his second debridement. Mom Mé-Lissa was very worried and made with the MEC of Health on Sunday.

I spoke to the MEC of Health Gauteng Qedani Mahlangu this morning and raised my concerns regarding the level of care, hygiene of the room, temperature of Sean, heater in the room and infection control.

When I arrived at the hospital I was met by 2 Matrons who was sent to Sean by the hospitals CEO. I told them that I have spoken to the MEC to get Sean transferred to Baragwanath hospital as they have a burn unit.

His condition has improved since yesterday. His heart rate is now at 97 bpm and his temperature is still a bit high at 38.2 degrees. His Blood pressure etc are normal. He is receiving tube feeding as well. X-rays were done yesterday that shows his right lung has an infection. He is receiving anti biotics for that. It might be due to smoke inhalation or hospital acquired due to his immunity being low. 

I will remain in contact with the MEC and see what will be the best for him until we raise enough funds to get him back to a private hospital.

I was able to get an indicative quotation from MilparkBurn ICU:

Deposit of R800,000 to admit Shaun. With his injuries and care needed as indicated he will need to be in Burns ICU for about 6 weeks which will bring the cost of ICU and theater (this excludes drs costs, surgeons, x-rays, blood works, Burn Unit ward and Rehab) to over R2,000,000.00.

Total estimated cost will be about R3mil.

We really need a lot of help.

Kind Regards,

Annerie Du Plooy

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