‘Baby’ no. 329 comes full circle

Returning ‘home’ 25 years and 37 422 babies later

Tuesday, March 10 2015

Almost a quarter of a century ago, Sister Mieke Opperman, unit manager of the obstetric unit at Netcare Unitas Hospital, helped bring a healthy baby girl named Bernardine Visser into the world. Nearly 25 years later, that same little baby, who has since qualified as a registered nurse, has finally returned ‘home’ to work with Sister Opperman, a veteran midwife and her team who have helped deliver no fewer than 37 751 babies at the hospital.

According to Sister Opperman, who has been the unit manager of the obstetric unit at Netcare Unitas Hospital ever since the hospital first opened its doors in 1989, obstetrics has been her life’s passion. 

When she heard that Bernardine Visser, now almost 25 years of age, had applied for the position of midwife at the hospital where she was born, Sister Opperman was deeply touched. “I immediately went back to check the records and saw that I was the first person to hold her in my arms after she was born via Caesarean section on 4 May 1990. I just couldn’t believe what a wonderful coincidence it was,” she says.

Bernardine first became interested in nursing in high school and subsequently enrolled for a Bachelor of Nursing Science at the University of Pretoria when she completed her secondary education. After obtaining her degree at the end of 2012, Bernadine went on to complete two years of community service at the Tshwane District Hospital, where she specialised in midwifery. “It’s an extremely rewarding field to work in and best of all, there is usually a happy outcome. I am so looking forward to working at the hospital where I was born and to learning from the doctors and my nursing colleagues here,” notes Bernardine.

“We are all very excited to welcome Bernardine to the team and it is special to see how she has grown into a bright, well-rounded individual. Not only did I have the opportunity of bringing this wonderful young woman into the world but now I also have the chance to pass on my skills and knowledge to her, so she too can help bring a new generation into life,” concludes Sister Opperman.

Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Unitas Hospital
Contact : Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, or Sarah Wilson
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email: [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]