PARAGLIDER IN TROUBLE
On 29 June 2018, Kelvin Van Baalen was paragliding in a competition in Barberton, in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa, one of many competitions he has participated in, in the past. This, however, was the one that was going to change his life forever. On his last flight, the conditions weren’t good, he scratched around a bit to try find a thermal and gain height. He was coming in to land, saw the power lines at the very last minute, turned his wing too hard and spun straight into the lines. He felt a power surge and then was knocked unconscious. He awoke to find himself engulfed in flames.
After 413 days in Burns ICU at Milpark Hospital, Kelvin was finally ready for rehabilitation. He was moved to the Netcare Rehabilitation Hospital on the 16th August 2019. And then on the 17th August 2019, my heart broke all over again… in the words of Kelvin’s medical aid “The scheme has reviewed the request and in light of the extensive injuries and accompanying co-motilities the scheme will fund REHAB for 10 DAYS ONLY, this will be full and final funding.” 10 days of rehabilitation for a child who has been in ICU for 413 days. I am devastated! I am disappointed! I am heartbroken! I am not accepting this and have never agreed to this!
It would appear that due to his extensive injuries and accompanying co-motilities, medical aid is refusing rehabilitation funding. I thought this was why we have medical aid? I didn’t realize that medical aids could simply refuse to fund a treatment because it would cost too much? Why then do I have medical cover? Kelvin is on their top scheme. He is fully covered.
To date Kelvin has had numerous skin grafts, the left anterior calf muscle had to be removed. During this period, he has suffered multiple organ failure due to infections. He has been resuscitated 9 times, dialysis, ventilated and fed via a NG tube. He has super stiff joints in his legs and calcification of his major organs has occurred.
Kelvins case is highly complex and requires a multidisciplinary team of highly skilled professionals to work with him. And the medical aid have been advised of this by all his doctors….. and yet, 10 days is all they’re willing to fund….
He is unable to walk, feed himself, hold a phone, read a magazine, button his shirt, brush his teeth, and the medical aid is only willing to pay for 10 days of rehab. 10 DAYS!
What exactly is 10 days going to achieve?
His medical aid hasn’t even bothered to see Kelvin to assess his case and they make such huge, life affecting, detrimental decisions!
Kelvin was moved to rehab yesterday, still on his NG feed, still on oxygen, with his catheter. He has no bladder control. 10 DAYS, FULL AND FINAL!
I am absolutely devastated and after Kelvin having fought so hard for so long it absolutely breaks my heart to imagine my son having to face the normal challenges of life after having received only 10 days’ rehab.
Kelvin is a miracle. His story has gone global. He is an extraordinary child, even before the accident, and more so now! Under no circumstances can his recovery be jeopardized!
I am heartbroken.
I am terrified.
This is my child, my miracle…..
Please help me to help my child regain his independence, regain his life…
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