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Unisa Radio presenter ill, needs funds for major op

Unisa Radio producer and presenter Tintswalo Kgaugelo Phakula in hospital still has hope to finish her degree and prosper in life. Picture: Supplied

Unisa Radio producer and presenter Tintswalo Kgaugelo Phakula in hospital still has hope to finish her degree and prosper in life. Picture: Supplied

Published Aug 19, 2020


Pretoria - The country’s first Mzansi Kwaito House Music Awards female nominee Tintswalo Kgaugelo Phakula is battling a life-threatening disease.

The 25-year-old, a Best House Radio Personality nominee in the awards, is scheduled to have surgery at a Pretoria hospital on Sunday. However, previous unpleasant experiences at a state hospital left her believing she would stand a better chance of survival at a private facility.

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Phakula has served Unisa Radio since 2017 with passion as a content producer and presenter. She has enjoyed volunteering in numerous community-building organisations since she became aware that she had survived cancer at the age of 1. A tumour was found in her left kidney and removed.

“I have lived a positive life since then. I regularly went for check-ups, the last in June 2019. No problem was detected until I started experiencing low back pains earlier this year.”

Phakula went to the clinic four times and was given antibiotics and painkillers. The pain persisted, and she eventually insisted on being referred to a hospital.

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It was in hospital that she learnt she had a renal mass and a high white cell count, among other health complications. She was immediately admitted in June.

“It came as a shock to me when I was told a tumour in my right kidney had spread to the liver and I had blood problems. It was about a year ago when I went to the oncology clinic for a check and everything was fine.

“The news was really saddening. I hope that I must be in the right place to get help. The doctors wanted to know my history before they could proceed with a proper diagnosis. For a week, I was there taking antibiotics and painkillers and going for other scans.”

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It was decided that she would go for a biopsy. An operation was done and doctors found she had internal bleeding. When she went for the results last month, she was told the biopsy was inconclusive and another had to be done. She was booked again for surgery.

The second biopsy didn’t bring good news either. It was then decided that to try to help her, doctors would have to remove the tumour, but with no promise of success or a cure.

Phakula has not been given much hope. “But I am a fighter. The doctors want to take out the tumour through a major operation even though success is not promised. My dream is to be transferred to a private hospital for this operation, but we don’t have the R250000 required for this.

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“The tumour is huge and needs to be taken out urgently. I live with constant pain from it. The surgeon who did my second biopsy may do the procedure, but in a private hospital where I believe I will be in safe hands.

“I am pleading with the public to please help me where they can. I still have hope to finish my degree and prosper in life to be a great participant in nation-building activities.”

*People who wish to help Phakula can call 0784412886.

Pretoria News