A woman from Pretoria, who was hit by a bus is finally getting the help needed to walk again!
Pretoria, South Africa (04 April 2021) – With no medical aid, no extra funds and no help in sight, this young woman – who was hit by a bus – was left with no hope of ever walking again, but thankfully kind strangers have changed her destiny.
37-year old Sharlene Coopoosammy from Proclamation Hill in Pretoria West has the unenviable distinction that she lives to tell the tale after being hit by a municipal bus.
The accident happened in the Pretoria CBD in October 2019, as Sharlene was on her way to work at a sweet shop in the city. She clung to life and, after five months of care in the State Hospital, went home.
The wound care was excellent, with skin grafts that heeled well. However, her pelvis, broken in three places and dislocated hip, were never mended. Because of the lack of surgery, Sharlene’s hip grew back out of the socket, and she cannot bend over anymore. The tendons in her legs have shortened, and her feet are pointed, which makes it impossible for her to walk on.
Sharlene has been bedridden since the accident – unable to support herself and her pensioner mom, Sylvia Naidoo.
The State Hospital has advised that it would be years before she would get the necessary surgery, and pain management is all they can assist with. Sharlene’s biggest wish is to be able to work and earn a living again. Her job at the sweet shop is still available to her, as soon as she’s mobile again.
“I moved in with my mom to take care of her. But, for the past two years, she’s been taking care of me like a baby. I can only use my arms, and my mom has to do everything else for me. Our neighbour and friends have been amazing, and they assist where and how they can, but I want to be able to live and take care of my mom myself.”
Without medical aid or the means to pay for private care, Sharlene will not be able to walk again. Despite the set-back and pain, Sharlene remains unbelievably positive about the future, and she deals with her realities with grace.
That’s why Namugaya Kisuule wrote to Good Morning Angels to help her incredible and inspirational friend.
“Good morning, and thank you very much for this initiative.
On the 21st of October 2019, one of my friends, Sharlene Coopoosammy, was hit by a Tshwane bus (Bus 329). It is my understanding that a few others were also affected. But she was the worst affected. The incident was covered by the Pretoria News: WATCH: Woman injured after being hit by a bus in Pretoria CBD.
She was near death when she arrived at Steve Biko Hospital, and it is a miracle that she survived at all. She was hospitalised for nearly 5 months and was released just in time for the Covid- lockdown of March 2020, having undergone several reconstructive surgeries. She still required a great deal of rehabilitation, which she did not have access to and a final hip-replacement surgery. This has, unfortunately, not materialised. As a result, she remains bed-ridden and has had to move back home with her mum, who survives on a small SASSA grant. Because Sharlene is bed-ridden, she cannot work either. It is a desperate situation, as her two adult brothers, her brother’s girlfriend and their son also live in the same small flat.
Sharlene’s last assessment has indicated that there is no reason that she should not be able to walk again. It is merely a matter of her getting the necessary surgery and rehabilitation. As we understand it, the waiting list at Steve Biko for hip replacements is 4 years long. And, as it is, the hospital has put a hold on any non-emergency surgeries until Covid has passed. No one knows when that may be. With the list growing, it may be 5 years or more before she gets a surgery, if at all.
The City has taken no responsibility for the accident, and there has been no joy, to date, from the Road Accident Fund. Sadly, Sharlene’s earnings when she worked as a shopkeeper did not allow her the funds to take out a disability policy of any sort so she is literally without income or any prospect thereof. She lives in a permanent state of excruciating pain and may get 2 or 3 hours of sleep a night if she is lucky.
Our wish is to see Sharlene up on her feet again, able to be a productive member of society, supporting her ageing mum, who, herself, has several health issues. We are trying various means to raise funds for her so that she can consult in a private hospital and perhaps get the necessary pain medication and/or surgery that she needs.
Sharlene is only 37 years old and still has a lot of life left in her. She has so much more to offer this world.
Is there any way that her story can perhaps be mentioned on your morning show? Perhaps some good Samaritan would be willing to assist?
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this email. We understand that not all requests and emails can be attended to. Nonetheless, we appreciate your efforts.
Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels team received the request and immediately jumped into action! The team managed to orchestrate R300,000 for life-changing medical intervention as well as healing hands to help her through this!
Trevor Case, founder and owner of Accident Angels, donated the full R300 000,00 needed to pay for theatre time, hospital stay, meds and consumables needed during Sharlene’s surgeries to ensure that she gets the best medical treatment possible. Trevor will also assist with the services of a biokineticist for rehab after Sharlene’s operations.
“Dr Helene and the Operation Healing Hands team have already assessed Sharlene to determine what treatment and surgery she needs to get her back on her feet. The Operation Healing Hands team of surgeons will operate both Sharlene’s feet, so she can walk on them again.”
About five months after this, they will do another operation to straighten her pelvis as well as reconstruct and replace her hip joint. All the doctors and medical personnel will provide their time, skill and services free of charge.