Tshepang's long cherished dream of flying in a helicopter comes true

It was a huge relief to us that Netcare 911 willingly stepped forward to assist in making Tshepang’s dream a reality

Thursday, August 1 2013

Fifteen-year-old cancer sufferer Tshepang Letsunyane has always wanted to experience a helicopter ride. Yesterday, thanks to the Reach for a Dream Foundation and Netcare 911, Tshepang’s fantasy of flying was realised. A helicopter rising into the blue sky from Netcare Pretoria East Hospital took him on his very own ride over the city.

Esmé Potgieter, the nursing services manager at Sun Garden Hospice, where the teenager is being cared for, says that Tshepang is a wonderful young boy who was extremely excited about having his dream of flying in a helicopter come true.

“Tshepang’s health took a turn for the worse recently so time was of the essence if he was going to have his dream fulfilled,” she continues. “We are very grateful to both the Reach for a Dream Foundation and Netcare 911 for organising his fantasy flight in double quick time.”

According to Craig Grindell, chief operating officer of Netcare 911, a very excited Tshepang was picked up from the Sun Garden Hospice by Netcare 911 emergency vehicles. Treated as a VIP he was then taken to the hospital for his special ride in a helicopter.

“Tshepang’s leg had swollen substantially due to his illness and he was unable to bend it,” adds Grindell. “We therefore flew him in a Netcare 911 BO-105 emergency medical services (EMS) helicopter with medical supervision during the flight to ensure his comfort.”

Grindell says that Tshepang was very weak and did not comment during the flight. However from his broad smile throughout the trip it was evident that he enjoyed the flight. “He became particularly animated when he recognised some of the landmarks over his hometown, Mamalodi. I think he had a tremendous experience with the Netcare 911 team.”

Grindell says the Reach for a Dream Foundation has brought hope to large numbers of South African children for more than 25 years. He points out that the Netcare Group and the Foundation have had a long, mutually rewarding relationship. “Netcare 911 staff are always happy to assist an organisation that is making a meaningful and significant contribution to the children of South Africa.”

Daleen Botes, manager of the Pretoria branch of Reach for a Dream Foundation, says that Tshepang’s story really tugged at the heart strings of the staff at the Foundation. “It was a huge relief to us that Netcare 911 willingly stepped forward to assist in making Tshepang’s dream a reality. Such unwavering support makes it possible for us to fulfil our aim of comforting critically ill children.”



Issued by : Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) for Netcare 911
Contact : Martina Nicholson or Graeme Swinney
Telephone : (011) 469 3016
Email :,

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