Open Heart Surgery
Photo Credit: Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital/Facebook

While a matric student stepped in to rescue a fellow female student from being mugged outside their school, he was stabbed in the heart. Luckily, there were heroes ready to push their own limits, ready to rescue him too.


Soweto, South Africa (09 May, 2023)—The first open heart surgery for Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital saw heroes rescuing a hero last Freedom Day.

Tumisang Motsikwa had stepped in to rescue a fellow student from being mugged outside their school. In his brave act, he suffered an attack and was stabbed in the heart.

His school’s deputy principal rushed the young hero to Bheki Mlangeni in hopes that they could save him. The hospital had never done an open heart surgery before but that day, they would push their own limits.

Tumisang had arrived in rocky condition; unstable and critical. Initially, the staff opted to get him to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, which advised that he stay put. Moving him would lower his fighting chance, so the Bheki Mlangeni staff had to think fast.

The team was prompted to operate on him; embarking on the hospital’s first open heart surgery, performed by specialists Ismail Ebrahim (Head of Surgery) and Sashriqua Palliam (Head of Accident and Emergency) – pictured above.

“The median sternotomy operation lasted for just over an hour, removing blood clots and suturing the heart muscle. Tumisang was kept in the ICU for 3 days and then released to the surgical ward before finally being discharged home.” — The Gauteng MEC for Health and Wellness’ Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko.

This marks the first heart surgery for a district hospital, as the Gauteng Province shared.

In more good news, Tumisang’s doctors say that the risk of any health complications is low.
Tumisang’s mother couldn’t be more grateful for the doctor’s pushing their boundaries.

“I truly thank God for saving my son’s life. I was really fearful when I was called to the hospital by his teachers and I  thank the deputy Principal together with the doctors for saving his life,” she said.

She and his grandmother added:

“Its funny that the community often says that when you go to Bheki Mlangeni you don’t come out alive—our son was facing death when coming into the hospital and now the same hospital has brought him back to life.” 

It’s a medical milestone moment for the hospital and a ray of hope that they are progressing far past previous stereotypes.

Photo Credit: The Gauteng Health Department

Source: Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital 
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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