R17 080 of R400 000 raised

Hi guys, my name is Wesley. Up until now, I have lived a normal life, I’ve been blessed with great parents who worked very hard to give me a good life. I grew up in Pinetown, KZN, South Africa. I attended New Germany Primary School and after that Pinetown Boys High where I matriculated.

I grew up with a love for outdoors and extreme sports spending a lot of my time in the surf in Durban on my body board, riding BMX with my mates or fishing. I am now 31 years old and have recently got married to my amazing and beautiful wife Melody on the 9th of December.
This past year has not a very easy year for us as I have been battling with severe neck pain and developed a symptom called downbeat nystagmus. After not being very well and having vision problems that seemed to be getting worse I went to see a doctor. A trip to the local GP in Waterfall, Dr. Carla Lott diagnosed the symptom and explained to me the possibilities of it being something brain related. She then referred me to the Dr. CE Wolpe who is the neurologist at Hillcrest Hospital.

It was suggested I go for an urgent MRI and CT scan. Dr. Wolpe explained that my first vertebrae is fused to my skull and is skew and pushing on my brain stem, in the area that controls the flow of messages between the brain and the rest of the body. It also controls basic body function such as breathing, eye control, heart rate and all those are important things. I often wake up gasping for air because I’ve ‘forgotten’ to breath. My vision bounces constantly, which often makes me feel dizzy and nauseous. Dr. Wolpe referred me to Dr. Retief Van Der Merwe, the neurosurgeon because he has never seen anything like this before. Dr. Retief Van Der Merwe explained that the surgery required can only be done by one man and referred me to Professor Dunn at the UCT Private Academic Hospital of Cape Town as the procedure needing to be done is a very rare spinal surgery.

As you can imagine this was quite a lot of information to suddenly take in but we had to find out what can be done to resolve it. I flew to Cape Town with my wife for a consultation with Professor Dunn. After the examination, he was quite certain that he can do the surgery by removing the first vertebrae and installing plates and screws, as well as bone from the pelvis area to support my head back onto my second and third vertebrae. I will lose 50% rotation of my neck and will have a good few months of recovery.
I am quite scared as this is a very expensive and risky surgery as they are working very closely to the brain stem as well as the main arteries. Any slight problems during surgery can cause Paralysis. We know that I need to go forward with the op as this threatens to permanently damage my brain stem and my bodily functions will get worse if not corrected.
I am a printer technician by trade and a year ago started my own business called Private Tech, that was just getting off the ground quite well until this all started. Unfortunately, my vision has limited my health, driving and I cannot serve my customer base with my condition. I do what I can at home with my wife to help earn some extra income, uploading designs to sell on merchandise and growing our own vegetables.

My medical plan has only agreed to cover 8% of the total due which has left us in a difficult situation to try and get the rest of funds. I, however, feel terrible having to cost anyone that couldn’t afford it and it kills me knowing this. If you can afford it, I would really appreciate all the help to get me back to living a normal life again.
If you would be interested in any progress on the surgery and recovery we will happy to keep in contact. I would also love to meet and talk to anyone else who has been through a similar situation.

All donations will be used towards medical and travel expenses.

Many thanks to everyone and my friends and family for all their love and their support.


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Donation Total: R10.00