Patson Sithole has been working at the Makalali Private Nature Reserve for the last 20 years; he is facing terrible back pain and needs surgery, so his colleagues are raising the funds needed.


South Africa (23 March 2023) – Patson Sitole has had a really bad back for some time now and the only thing to relieve the pain he feels each day, is surgery. Sadly, the surgery will be extensive and cost far more Patson could afford alone. Thankfully, his colleagues from the Xidulu Private Game Lodge have launched a crowdfund to help him.

Patson grew up in Acornhoek, just outside of all the beautiful parks and reserves. With hard work, dedication and a lot of grit, Patson worked his way up from being a gardener, to a waiter and then a tracker at some of the most prestigious game lodges in South Africa.

He has dedicated his life to becoming a ranger and today is the camp manager and a guide at the Xidulu Private Game Lodge. He lives on the Makalali Private Nature Reserve with his wife and five children.

“Patson is a very special member of our family, and who has nurtured our love for the bush for many many years.” 

“He is kind, gentle, hilarious and fantastic at his job but more importantly he is honest and reliable. Patson’s family rely on him and his income for their livelihood.

In the past few years, Patson has struggled with severe back pain. We have sent him for MRI’s, to physios and various other procedures which have sadly not helped ease his pain. As a last resort, Patson went to see Dr du Preez, a neurosurgeon in Nelspruit last week, and these were his findings:

“Dr du Preez’s findings indicated that he needs a L3-5 posterior and anterior fusion.
Due to his financial position, we will try and get away with only one level, L4-5.” – Toni Rogers

To help, they set up a crowdfund to raise R400,000 which will cover the cost of the surgeries needed. So far, they have raised nearly 50% with a total of R 192,706.66 in the fund to date.

“Ideally, we would like to be able to raise enough money to do both levels of the operation. The approximate cost of this is R 380,000.00. The operation will be done in the Medi-Clinic in Nelspruit.

If we raise more than what is required for just the operation, then we’d cater for the post-op rehab that is required as well as for any unforeseen expenses. The funds will be paid directly into my account (set up specifically for this cause) and then directly from me to the doctors/specialists who will be assisting Patson.”

Toni hopes that many of the visitors to the lodge that have known Patson over the last 20 years, will help them reach the goal and get Patson’s life back on track.

“If you know him, you also know that he is a wonderful man who is exceptionally knowledgeable and that he absolutely loves working in the bush. If we can manage to raise the money to fund his back operation then Patson will be able to continue doing what he loves most, and continue to support his family going forward.”

You can support Patson via the BackaBuddy fund here.

Sources: BackaBuddy
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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