A ten-year-old boy Chrissie Maredi with severe burns is set to undergo transformative surgery during Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital Smile Week. Chrissie who sustained burn wounds to 44% of his body including his chest, back, arms and head in 2017. Rebecca Maredi the boy’s mother had to come down from Mpumalanga. Sitting wearing a white top next to them is Cami Palomo founder of Avela Foundation. Picture: Phando/Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town - Surgeons have started on the reconstructive operations that have been earmarked to be performed on 10  children at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

Ten-year-old Chrissie Maredi, who suffered severe burns in 2017 in Mpumalanga, is one of the patients.

Surgeon Gary Dos Passos said Chrissie’s operation would be the second one, at about 2pm on today’s list of procedures, and take about four hours.

The event is a partnership between Smile Foundation and South African pharmaceutical company Adcock Ingram.

He explained that the operation involved cutting open the skin on Chrissie’s neck to apply laser treatment to soften the neck tissue.

This would allow the boy better neck and head movement.

“The fire burnt him severely on his upper torso and face, causing severe scarring on the side of his face and neck,” said Smile Foundation operations executive director Moira Gerszt.

Surgeons have started on the reconstructive operations that have been earmarked to be performed on 10 children at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
Surgeons have started on the reconstructive operations that have been earmarked to be performed on 10 children at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Chrissie and his cousin were playing in the backyard of his home in Mpumalanga when his cousin went to the shed on the premises to fetch a can of petrol and poured it over the fire.

Chrissie was standing closest to the fire and as a result was severely burnt.

His cousin was unharmed.

Chrissie’s mother, Rebecca Maredi, who travelled from Mpumalanga to support her son before, during and after his operation, was present with her son when the two doctors spoke.

She said she was glad that he was going to undergo the operation and that she looked forward to seeing the positive results of his operation.

Gerszt, who explained that four children were operated on on Monday, three today and probably another three tomorrow, said: “Surgery started yesterday on cleft lips and cleft palates. The surgeries in many instances are lengthy and complicated.”

She added that a laser machine, bought by the foundation two years ago for the hospital, would help treat scars and provide therapy for burn scars not older than a year.

Cape Times