2020 Winning Stories

I was referred to Dr Mike du Toit by my physician after being diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in my liver. My kidneys and liver were failing. I was so weak that I was wheelchair-bound and barely able to walk. I went from consult to ward with blood transfusions, platelet transfusions and chemotherapy. I was a 55-year-old independent, single parent of a 14-year-old son with a mother who was recovering from a heart attack and back surgery, and in the process of moving into a retirement village. Dr Mike took this all in hand and in his calm, kind steadfast manner, approached my treatment with knowledge and an air of certainty that I felt no doubt that he had everything under control. Six chemotherapy sessions and multiple tests later, I was in remission. I am undergoing treatment again for DLBCL in different lymphs and feel entirely safe in the hands of my hero, Dr Mike du Toit.

– Lita Futeran, Western Cape

Dr Lander is an anaesthetist. Throughout the days, we had COVID-19 patients in ICU and he was beside the nurses caring for them. On many occasions, he spent the entire day and night in the hospital to ensure that the nurses had the support they needed, and to ensure the patients’ conditions remained stable. He was also instrumental in ensuring that the patients’ loved ones were kept updated on their conditions on a daily basis.

– Vasie Govindasamy, Kwa-Zulu Natal

Dr Seeraj has been our family doctor for about eight years and has always been amazing.  Upon my check-up in September 2020, she shared with me the news of her brother, who was also a doctor, had passed away from COVID-19. Despite mourning her loss and the risk of contracting the virus herself and spreading it to her family, she continued to practise and care for her patients.

– Melissa Pillay, Gauteng

Dr Silva Fernandes is concerned about improving patients’ lives. Even when his surgery is full of patients waiting to be seen to, he takes his time and makes sure that you get all the help you need. I am suffering from depression and experienced back and chest pain, and I also thought that my heart was being affected. I explained to him that I am stressed and depressed after which he checked my heart and confirmed that it was fine. I was surprised when he sat me down and gave me counselling, which took over 30 minutes, even though he had other patients who were waiting to be seen to. I was touched by his kindness – the fact that he is not a counsellor, but gave me advice, motivation and encouragement. He even transferred me to see a physician because of the worst back pain I had experienced. I was able to overcome depression thanks to Dr Silva’s advice. To me, he is more than just a doctor – he is like a parent who is concerned about his kids’ health. He doesn’t dispense medication, but before he prescribes medication, he checks whether your medical aid covers those medications and writes down all medications your medical will pay. Dr Silva Fernandez is a hero.

– Ralph Temosho Modika, Gauteng

I have had two stillborn babies at 37 weeks because of abruptio. When I met Dr Silver, a gynaecologist and obstetrician, she understood my past and picked up that I was a high-risk patient. She gave me special care as she has experience with high-risk patients that have successfully given birth to healthy babies. I am currently 31 weeks into my pregnancy and Dr Silver has referred me to Steve Biko hospital, as per my request to give birth there. Dr Silver assured me that she is available whenever I need her assistance. We need more doctors like her, because they know how to treat patients and their special needs.

– Mbali Tshali, Gauteng