Organ donations at Groote Schuur and Red Cross hospital saving multiple lives

A happy Demi Zara Hendricks after her transplant at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

A happy Demi Zara Hendricks after her transplant at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

Published Sep 5, 2023


Cape Town - Multiple life-saving organ transplants at Groote Schuur and Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital are undoubtedly saving lives.

The organs of a deceased individual made it possible for organ recipients on the waiting list for kidneys and livers to benefit from surgery at Groote Schuur Hospital and Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RCWMCH) just a few weeks ago.

Nangamso Liwani, 32, was a recipient of a kidney transplanted at Groote Schuur Hospital, where she is employed.

She recalled experiencing dizziness at work in 2016.

“My vision became blurry, and I was advised to seek medical help from our nursing staff. During the consultation, my blood pressure was examined, and it was very high. I was immediately sent to the emergency unit where bloods were drawn, and I was admitted. The doctor informed me that my kidneys were not functioning well, and I was diagnosed with kidney failure,” she said.

Liwani said she could not believe it when she heard that a match had been found for her.

“It was like I cried in disbelief that this has happened to me. It was a miracle because I knew that my dialysis days were over, and I will finally have a well-functioning kidney.”

Associate Professor of Nephrology and Hypertension at GSH, Professor Nicola Wearne said Nomgamso was accepted onto the peritoneal dialysis programme in 2016.

“Her end-stage kidney disease was due to hypertension. She was a very compliant patient and managed her peritoneal dialysis well for the seven years preceding her transplant. She worked for many years while being on peritoneal dialysis. I think it is important to note that by the time she had a transplant she had little medical comorbidities.”

Demi Zara Hendricks, 12, was a recipient who received a liver transplant at RCWMCH.

She was diagnosed with Billiary Atresia in 2011 and hospitalised for two years with recurrent cholangitis.

“I was afraid and emotional, however, happy at the same time. I now feel better, and healthier with my new liver and I am thankful despite all the challenges. I can now focus on getting better at the hospital, start walking and go home as a happy patient. I’m grateful to the donor, the doctors and nurses for giving me second chance of life.”

Anyone upon reaching 18 years, can volunteer to donate their organs.

Consultant Surgeon in the Transplant Unit at GSH, Dr David Thomson said: “For families considering donating their loved one’s organs, please know they always go to people desperately in need. Every donation saves lives. Your family will always be asked for their permission. Tell your family what your wishes are. Your and their privacy and anonymity are maintained throughout this entire process.”

It is free to register as an organ donor and this can be done online or call the Organ Donor Foundation’s toll-free line on 0800 22 66 11.

Cape Argus