HOW DID I GET SICK? "It started like I was having flu, not knowing that it will turn to something big. I had pains on my chest and underneath my breast and it was hard to breathe. I thought its something that will go away as it did years ago. I went to the clinic and learned that I had something on my heart, and then they transferred me to hospital. I had to stop going to school, because I couldn’t walk long distance. My feet were starting to get swollen and, when I walked, I would get tired. In bed I had to use big pillows or two small ones, because I couldn’t lay flat as I was getting short of breath."

AFTER THE TRANSPLANT: "Now that I had my heart transplant, I have seen so much change for the better than before. I can walk long distances that I couldn’t walk before. Nobody knows what the future holds, because I never thought it will be me one day who will have a heart problem and so everything is new and strange but, with God and the help of doctors, I believe that I can overcome any hurdle. Here am I today looking good and pretty - nobody can even tell that I had a transplant. This is all about understanding and accepting your situation. Having a heart transplant is not something that I am ashamed of."


"Before the operation I was hospitalised for approximately two weeks. My illness started with tiredness, shortness of breath and body weakness. I had to prepare my food in a sitting position from chair to chair. I could not handle anything on my own, including my daily chores. I could not even cut my own toenails. At night I was so tired and weak, I slept with 4 pillows, sweating and gasping for breath. After all the hospital admissions my cardiologist eventually suggested a heart transplant.

I was so shocked but mostly afraid. At that time my condition was really very bad. Now that I had the heart transplant everything has changed for the best. I feel wonderful, like a new person. I enjoy life to the fullest; do things that I never dreamt of doing! My new heart has changed my life for the best. I have more energy than ever before. I do my own housework, even the hanging of curtains on a step ladder. These are things I could never do before !I feel so blessed and so happy. I can't thank the Lord enough and all the wonderful people who made it possible for me.


“I became sick while living in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. I coughed a lot. I saw a few doctors and was sent to Cape Town where I was told I had heart failure. The doctors told me that my heart was 'finished' and I needed a new one! One day, I was phoned and told there was a heart for me. After I got the new heart, I woke up and have not had any more problems. A year later, I was told I was well enough to get a new job. Since then everything has been very fine. I got married to Unathi the following year and we hope to have children one day. Without the help I received at Groote Schuur Hospital, I think I would be dead now. Thanks to everyone who helped me to change my life.”