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No Holding Back – The Siya Khumalo story

In May 2015, nine-year old Siya Khumalo was attacked and severely mauled by two Pitbull terriers while on her way home from school.

Not only did she suffer severe kidney damage, in order to save her life, this traumatic incident also led to the amputation of Siya’s right leg.

Siya’s father, Vusi, was faced with even further challenges as a result of the terrible incident, in that it was difficult to foresee how funding could be raised in order to pay for Siya’s prosthetic needs going forward as well as counselling in order to help her deal with the trauma of the attack and that of losing a limb.

Yet, there was no holding back.

When Siya’s friend, Shazia Dudhia, wrote to 94.7’s Christmas Wish List about what happened to Siya, the Dis-Chem Foundation didn’t hold back either and responded without hesitation.

A dedicated team of experts sets to work to help turn a wish into a reality

  • A dedicated team of experts was assembled without delay and promptly set to work to help turn Shazia’s wish for Siya to be fitted with a prosthetic leg into a reality.
  • The components for Siya’s prosthetic leg were funded by the Dis-Chem Foundation.
  • Roger Wolfson and Associates stepped on board immediately in their role as dedicated prosthetists and straightaway set to work on the first walking prosthesis.

Towards comfort, mobility and confidence

Says Roger:

‘We first begin with the process of measuring of the residual limb which is followed by any number of test fittings that may be required to ensure patient comfort, mobility and confidence.’

In Siya’s case, as a trans femoral (above knee) amputee where the residual limb is short and very scarred, this inevitably means that even as normal healing occurs, and during the rehabilitative process, the residual limb keeps changing as she grows.

Irrespective of the time it takes or the number of fittings required to deliver the best possible results, we are prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure that the outcome of the prosthesis is to the complete satisfaction of the patient,’ Roger confirms.

A team from Carte Blanche

Siya’s prosthetic leg was fitted recently. A team from Carte Blanche was also on the scene to cover this inspiring story, having witnessed the results first-hand of turning a wish into a reality when they visited Siya at the practice of Roger Wolfson and Associates.

But, there is still no holding back for the Dis-Chem Foundation in their continuous effort to raise funds in that more funding will be needed to cater for Siya’s prosthetic needs going forward, since, her leg will need to be adapted as she grows and the counselling that she receives is an ongoing process. Costs could amount to anything from R500 000 to R700 000 over the next three years.

No holding back on the ambition to turn a completely different wish into a reality

Yet, going forward, there will be no holding back for Siya either, in any way whatsoever. Her ambition is to one day become a doctor so that she can turn a completely different wish into a reality, that is, to help others in the same way that she has been helped.

Concludes Roger: ‘Siya has made tremendous progress so far and she is walking well. I firmly believe that she has the strength to achieve that which she truly desires and will live a normal life.’

To help raise funding for Siya, call Roger Wolfson and Associates on (011) 640 7198 or approach the Dis-Chem Foundation direct.

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Articles/Case Studies

Relieving plantar fasciitis: top tips from top to toe

Relieving plantar fasciitis: top 5 tips from top to toe –

for starters, let’s get things off the ground in determining exactly what plantar fasciitis is

If you feel pain when your feet touch the ground you could have plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue located from heel to toe on the bottom of the foot known as ‘fascia’ becomes overstretched which causes small tears to appear on the surface of the skin.  Pain and inflammation occur as a result.  Fascia tissue supports the muscles and the arches of the feet.  Arch supports are often worn to alleviate this condition.

What can you do if you have plantar fasciitis and you feel pain when your feet touch the ground?  Here are our top tips from top to toe…

Arch supports

Doctors once believed that the pain experienced from plantar fasciitis was due to a condition known as heel spurs.  However, they since discovered that heel spurs are the result of but not the cause of pain experienced due to plantar fasciitis.

Relieving plantar fasciitis: top tips from top to toe

Relieving plantar fasciitis: top tips from top to toe

What causes plantar fasciitis?

While it is found to be more common in women than men, the tendency to develop plantar fasciitis is influenced by factors such as:

  • Age: the risk of developing plantar fasciitis increases with age
  • Spending several hours a day on one’s feet increases the likelihood that plantar fasciitis may appear
  • Weight factors:  those who are overweight are at higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis

You may also be at risk if:

·        You have flat feet

·        You have very high arches

·        You wear shoes lacking in good foot support

·        As a woman, you regularly wear very high heeled shoes

·        Your Achilles tendons are tight (a condition also known as “heel cords”)

·        Your walking or “gait” is irregular

·        Trauma to one or both feet

·        You maintain an irregular position in one or both feet

·        Prior to engaging in exercise or sports activities, you fail to warm up properly

·        You experience significant changes in running surfaces

 

How will I know if I have plantar fasciitis?

A morning wake-up call

Many people claim that they start to feel pain when they first wake up in the morning.  In a sense, this is a ‘morning wake-up call’ to the fact that they have plantar fasciitis.  Often people experience discomfort and pain in the affected areas when first getting out of bed to walk to the bathroom for instance.  Certain individuals also experience a stiffness in those areas.

Often, when walking, the pain may gradually subside; but appears to return when one stops moving around.

Again, certain individuals appear to experience very little relief at all.

Still, pain may kick in post prolonged periods of standing or engaging in sports or exercise but is not felt during the actual workout sessions.

So, what can one do to manage plantar fasciitis?

Top 5 tips from top to toe on how to manage plantar fasciitis:

  • Apply ice to the affected areas.  One can also roll the foot over a frozen bottle of water to enable relief.
  • Wear supportive footwear.  Lace-up shoes or running shoes are a tremendous help.
  • Try taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.   This is a short-term method of obtaining temporary relief.
  • Try wearing shoe inserts such as arch supports.  Available on request from Roger Wolfson.
  • Avoid exercise and sports activities that put too much pressure or strain on the feet until symptoms lessen.  It is not necessary to give up exercise and sports activities altogether, rather, appropriate changes in routine are what is needed.
  • Regularly stretch the feet.  This is also effective when performed prior to getting out of bed in the mornings.
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Articles/Case Studies

Some things happen for a reason, and always during the right season when they affect a lifetime

“Thank you Doctor Roger.  Bless you and may you never grow weary of doing good for others.”

Born with a congenital femoral deficiency, 6 year old Asbonge now has a new lease on life and is well on his way to Walking comfortably with the aid of his new prosthetic.

But, it wasn’t always like this.  Asbonge’s nurse, Mondi, reveals how this brave little boy was led to Roger.  It’s a touching tale involving a very special type of artificial limb that is attached to an existing limb and is similar to a through knee prosthetic but also fitted with a foot.  The complexity involved with congenital disorders often requires a completely customised solution.  Yet, as Asbonge grows, over time, with the aid of continous technological development, so will his prosthetic, and even more so being part of the family at Roger Wolfson and Associates.

Karate class with Roger – Asbonge shows off some new moves

Says Mondi, Asbonge’s nurse:  “When I first saw Asbonge at his school I was touched.  It seemed as though the health department had failed him a number of times.  I followed up on his case and called his Mom who just kept saying how tired she was of going back and forth and being promised things that never came true.”

Asbonge with Terry Sharman: Lamination Technician at Roger Wolfson and Associates. Terry helps Roger create Asbonge’s new leg by carefully noting Asbonge’s movements

Brought to Roger via genuine synchronistic events

“She even went as far as KZN thinking she might get help but this never happened.  So I asked her if we could continue with our quest and not involve them.  Despite my having tried to engage them numerous times, no one was prepared to help.  Asbonge’s Mom agreed wholeheartedly.  It seemed as though Asbonge was brought to Roger via genuine synchronistic events.”

 

 

 

There is a reason.

Mondi concludes:  “There’s a reason I met you through my Dad.  There’s a reason I became a nurse.  There’s a reason I was assigned to Asbonge’s school.  And there’s a reason I saw him that day.   There is a reason.  Thank you for your great work and continuous support.  Thank you Doctor Roger.  Bless you and may you never grow weary of doing good for others.”

Asbonge is Walking comfortably with this completely customised prosthetic leg involving a through knee prosthetic device with a foot

You might also enjoy: With a host of angels anything and everything is possible!

More on different types of through knee prosthetic devices and other prosthetics

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Articles/Case Studies

Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBS)

Don’t ignore this vital sign: Get up to speed with Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs) and the workings of the Law

By law, Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs) require medical aids to bear the costs of basic prosthetics

Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs): A feature of the Medical Schemes Act

Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs) are a feature of the Medical Schemes Act which means that in terms of South African law, medical aid schemes are required to bear the costs of basic prosthetics.

  • What this entails is that irrespective of the type of benefit option selected, Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs) is a set of defined benefits that ensure that certain minimum health services are accessible to all medical scheme members where this applies to any emergency condition as defined within a certain limited set of such conditions.
  • The main purpose of this feature is to provide a more affordable form of healthcare and ensure continuous care to improve health and wellbeing.
  • To determine whether a condition falls within a PMB, a doctor should use a diagnosis-based approach which means that only the symptoms and not any other factors, such as cause of injury or how a condition was contracted, should be examined.

Amputations as a result of certain medical conditions fall within the scope of Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs).

How does an amputation occur?

An amputation entails the surgical removal of all or part of a limb or extremity that could involve the leg, foot, toe, arm, hand or finger.

Studies suggest that there are 1.5 amputees per 1000 persons. Therefore, the current number of amputees in South Africa amounts to approximately 60 000.

What are the reasons for amputation?

An amputation may be required due to many reasons.

Vascular Conditions

  • Poor circulation due to damage or narrowing of the arteries, also known as peripheral arterial disease, is the most common cause since, without adequate blood flow, cells are unable to obtain the required amount of oxygen or nutrients. As a result, affected tissue begins to die which results in infection.
  • Poor circulation due to diabetes causes a limb to become gangrene due to loss of blood supply.

Other reasons for amputation may include:

  • Severe injury or trauma, for example, as a result of serious burns or a vehicle accident.
  • The presence of a cancerous tumour either in the bone or the muscle of the limb.
  • As a result of serious infection that does not respond to antibiotics or other treatments.
  • Frostbite
  • Neuroma (thickening of nerve tissue).

At Roger Wolfson and Associates doing whatever it takes means we never ignore the vital signs

At Roger Wolfson and Associates, we are passionate about doing whatever it takes in going the extra mile to ensure that our clients receive the funding needed for a basic prosthesis made available within the Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs).

This means that we never ignore the vital signs. Our team of dedicated specialists at Roger Wolfson and Associates is available to answer your questions and help you take full advantage of the entitlements that fall within the Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs). Don’t ignore this vital sign:

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