Wouter is back home!

There was no stopping him now. Wouter kept telling everyone that his heart is pounding. He couldn’t stop smiling.

The Bulletin Newspaper

Wouter Swanepoel was discharged from hospital on Friday 13 April after several months in the hospital.
The 2nd of December 2017 saw the closure of the N17 due to an accident close to the Leandra tollgate. Wouter, Chantel (his mother) and their dog Calvin, travelled to Secunda by bakkie when the bakkie overturned and everyone’s lives changed forever.
Chantel had extensive injuries to her legs and was transported to a hospital by ambulance. Calvin ran away into the neighbouring farms. The Bulletin reported about the plight of Calvin as the Govan Mbeki Municipality community was caught up in the story of the missing dog. Search parties were organised and even a plane was sent to help find Calvin. With the persistence of Garth Calitz, they found Calvin. He was alive but needed veterinary care urgently. Dr Louis Bosch helped nurse him back to good health.
Wouter, 11 years old, was not so lucky. He fell out of the bakkie as it overturned and was seriously hurt. He had extensive head injuries as well as a number of other minor injuries.
Shayne van der Heever of Langamed South Services was the first to arrive on the scene. The personnel of Langamed stabilized little Wouter and Shayne called in Halo Aviation. They operate “Air ambulances”. Wouter was then airlifted to Hospital in Randfontein.
Shayne later said that something just told him to keep on trying and not to give up.
Wouter stayed in ICU and high care for a while before being moved to a normal ward and later to a rehabilitation centre. This little boy showed determination to succeed under very difficult circumstances. Although he still struggles to walk he is a bright and pleasant young boy.
A few days before his discharge Dirk, Wouter’s father, contacted the Bulletin to inform the Bulletin about his discharge. He mentioned that Wouter would like to thank those involved in the rescue if it was ever possible. That set the wheels in motion that would affect a lot of people for a long time.
The Bulletin contacted Shayne and asked if he would be available to meet with Wouter and he agreed immediately. Shayne, in turn, contacted Brandon Botha of Halo aviation at Lanseria who also agreed to meet at Rand Airport in Germiston.
The Bulletin wanted to make the day even more special and phoned Jason English CG Holdings (also Prommac). Jason agreed to fly little Wouter in his helicopter. But this time there would be no emergency.
Wouter was not informed of this but was told that they would be eating at the Harvard restaurant at Rand Airport.
Excitement rose as the whole team arrived and the big moment arrived. Shayne introduced the rescue team of Brandon, Max (paramedic on the helicopter) and himself to Wouter.
He was so excited to meet them all. It was a big surprise. Then the biggest news came, Wouter was going to fly! He didn’t know what to say as Jason was introduced.
There was no stopping him now. Wouter kept telling everyone that his heart is pounding. He couldn’t stop smiling. The long walk to the Helipad was quickly forgotten as he was strapped into his seat. At one stage all he could say to his dad was “ek is bang” (I am afraid)
Jason landed after about 20 minutes. The flight took them over central Johannesburg. The final surprise of the day was when Wouter and his family visited the workshops of Henly Air where Wouter could see how helicopters are serviced.
This was a very special day for a very special boy that is so deeply entrenched into the hearts of all here at the Bulletin. Dirk kept the Bulletin updated on a weekly basis regarding Wouter’s progress.
The Bulletin would like to thank Shayne (for making such a big difference on accident scenes and saving Wouter’s life), Brandon (for responding when needed), Max (who treated and cared for Wouter in the helicopter) and Jason (for making Wouter’s day so special)
It was easy arranging the day. It took the Bulletin two phone calls to get the go ahead! This is what makes a difference to us at the Bulletin and those affected!


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