Compassionate hospital theatre porter changes family’s life for the better

Selfless gesture of kindness sees young boy receiving craniofacial surgery

Thursday, November 2 2017

By going out of his way to secure much needed craniofacial surgery for a 14-year old boy with a severe facial deformity, Muzi Mngadi, a theatre porter at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital, was recently awarded the coveted Netcare Carer of the Year Award for the Gauteng South West Region.

It all began when Muzi saw a group of children kicking a ball in the street. As he passed, he heard laughter and what sounded like cheering. However, after stopping to watch the boys at play he soon noticed a young boy with a major facial deformity in the midst of the group being taunted by the other boys.

Photo: "By going out of his way to secure much needed craniofacial surgery for a 14-year old boy with a severe facial deformity, Muzi Mngadi, a theatre porter at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital, was recently recognised with the coveted Netcare Gauteng South West region’s Carer of the Year Award. Photographed at the event were Clare Pimenta, human resource manager and Pieter Louw, general manager, both of Netcare Sunninghill Hospital; Muzi; and Sandile Mbele, regional director of Netcare’s South West Region."

Muzi’s heart went out to the boy and there and then he decided to do his utmost to help the young boy.  

Fortunately, help was not far away as a multidisciplinary medical team headed by plastic and reconstructive surgeons, Dr Tim Christofides and Dr Martin Kelly, has been providing free corrective craniofacial surgeries for disadvantaged South Africans at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital where Muzi has worked for several years. The programme, which is administered and sponsored by the Netcare Foundation, has helped many children with facial anomalies who are often the object of ridicule and shunned by their communities.

“If you work for a company like Netcare, you have the opportunity to assist people in their hour of need. To provide excellent medical care to patients day after day requires the skills and efforts of every doctor, nurse, pharmacist and support staff member,” commented Sandile Mbele, regional director of Netcare’s South West Region. “Every year we therefore pay tribute to those among us who show exceptional generosity of spirit to patients, their colleagues or members of the community.”

“Netcare is blessed to have some of the most outstanding individuals in the healthcare sector working within our facilities. We hear inspiring stories of bravery, care and passion from within Netcare on a daily basis. Our individual hospitals’ Carer of the Month and our regional Carer of the Year awards are our way of honouring not only the award winners, but also those who answer the call of duty every day not only in their work but also in their private lives,” notes Mbele.

“Staff members such as Muzi, who embody and live the Netcare values of care, dignity, participation, truth and passion every day of their lives, are a constant source of inspiration. Muzi is an outstanding example of how a seemingly small act of kindness can change the life of someone for the better. He went above and beyond to ensure that a young boy in need could receive the life-changing surgery he required and expected nothing in return, except knowing that he has made a difference,” he says.

“Many of the staff members are nominated because they acted selflessly to better the lives of others. Quite a few employees had made a difference to the lives of others while off duty, which goes to show that the Netcare culture of caring extends well beyond working hours,” he added.

Pieter Louw, general manager at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital, says that Muzi was absolutely determined to get the boy accepted on the programme and that he had left no stone unturned in his quest to facilitate the necessary surgery for the patient.

“When a spot was secured on the programme for his young charge Muzi was right there, ready to welcome the patient and his mother for the first in a series of procedures. His kindness did not end there as he stayed close at hand to translate everything for the patient and his family. He also bought the boy some sweets in order to cheer him up.

“Muzi’s compassion and caring not only touched the life of a young boy but all who have travelled with him on his amazing journey. He is to be commended for his kindness and we are delighted to present him with this award,” he said.

While the road to normality for the young patient will involve multiple surgeries, Mbele says it is gratifying to know that there is a better life waiting for him and his family.

“We salute all the winners and nominees whose actions have touched people’s lives in a meaningful and lasting way. It is their selfless approach to dealing with patients, fellow staff members and people in need who may cross their path that continues to make a real difference to individuals, families and communities,” he concludes.


Issued by:    Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Sunninghill Hospital
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville or Pieter Rossouw
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:        [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]