Good Morning Angels: Seven-year-old Tiffany to undergo surgery today

Good Morning Angels: Seven-year-old Tiffany to undergo surgery today

It's a big day for young Tiffany as she will be undergoing surgery later today.

image gma tiffany going operation

REQUEST FOR: Seven-year-old Tiffany

ANGEL: Operation Healing Hands (Dr. Helene Basson)

BACKGROUND: Operation Healing Hands is the idea and passion of Pretoria-based orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Helene Basson. As a medical practitioner in the private sector, she has long tried to assist with patients in the state sector, where waiting lists are endless and preference of over-stretched resources has gone towards life saving before anything else. 

She put her passion to action with Mandela Day 2016. Her goal has been to get as many of her colleges, friends, hospitals, and medical supply companies together to give of their time, skill, services, and products in the private medical sector. This is to help people who cannot afford private health care and who have been waiting for years. She had no difficulty convincing others in her field to participate and the result was an NPO, supported by more than 20 medical practitioners, support skills and three hospitals: Life Eugene Marais, Life Groenkloof, and Zuid-Afrikaans. 

Last year, Operation Healing Hands performed life-saving and changing surgeries on 21 patients, young and old. This year, Operation Healing Hands is up and running to change more lives for good with life-changing and saving surgeries. They have the skills and facilities, but need financial contributions for consumables.

We also managed to speak to young Tiffany ahead of her big operation. 

Tiffany is a cheerful, friendly, and lively girl. Her blonde hair is tied in a ponytail and she wears a hair band with a bow on it. She’s not shy at all and her big brown eyes sparkle as she speaks. With her is her granddad, Marius, and his wife. Tiffany speaks with enthusiasm and her smile reveals a dimple in each of her cheeks. 

From a first glance, you would not even notice her feet. She walks on the tips of her toes like a ballerina. Only this little ballerina has no choice. She was born with shortened Achilles tendons. The front parts of her feet are calloused and broad from carrying her weight, in fact, her feet are deformed in such a way that she cannot wear shoes. Her granddad has tied stokey’s to her feet with string so she doesn’t have to walk on the balls of her bare feet. 

When Marius looks at his granddaughter, it's with great love and admiration and worry. He’s in the process of trying to get full custody of Tiffany. Her family life has been difficult, with her parents dropping her off at different family members and friends. She’s never been to school - but Marius doesn’t want to talk about that too much. She can only be added to his medical aid once the legal process has been finalised and her parents have never been in a position to have a medical aid. Now, Operation Healing Hands will help to get Tiffany on her feet. Her operation is scheduled for the 17th of July as the country celebrates Mandela Day. 

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