At just 11-years-old, Josh du Toit has overcome obstacles that many an adult has not even dreamed of facing. And he has done so with a smile on his face and his family’s love and support.
Earlier this year, Josh fought for his life after developing septicaemia. Also known as blood poisoning, septicaemia occurs when a bacterial infection enters the bloodstream through the lungs or even something as ordinary as a scraped knee.
His mother, Tanya, explains the ordeal began when Josh was riding his bicycle.
She explains he was riding his bicycle; when he jumped off and developed a blood blister. He then popped the blister and carried on playing. However, not long afterwards, he needed to be taken to the doctor after experiencing substantial pain.
The matter soon escalated, and his knee started swelling up.
“We then took him to Doctor Francois van Niekerk, who explained to us that Josh needed to go for an operation.”
What followed were seven operations on his knee, which saw the septicaemia later spread to his hip, he was put on oxygen as a result of pneumonia which developed into a suspected empyema from pus collecting in his spleen and lungs.
He also developed a bleeding gastric ulcer in his stomach and lost a significant amount of blood from the ulcer and therefore received seven blood transfusions in total. A small abscess was also later found on his upper leg.
He was in the hospital from July 24 until August 22, two weeks of which was spent in ICU.
“It was a very trying time for us all. As we still had to care for our daughter Tara and our son Matthew. We would take turns sleeping in the hospital with Josh, so he would never need to be alone,” explains Josh’s father, Chris.
While the family is still not sure how the septicaemia developed, the family extends heartfelt thanks to every individual who played a role in Josh’s recovery.
“We nearly lost him three times and we as a family would like to thank the doctors who played a key role in saving him,” says Tanya.
The people involved in ensuring Josh’s recovery are Dr E Govere, the family’s paediatrician. Dr R Lutchman, the anaesthetist. Dr A Harilal (GP) Dr D Maimin (GP), Dr Francois van Niekerk and Dr Sundas who did his heart echo.
“These doctors couldn’t have done this without the professional and caring nurses and sisters in ICU and ‘A’ ward. A special thank you goes to Mrs Elaine Beeselaar and Sister Martie Jooster. We want to thank the sonar and x-ray technicians at Dr Van Veijeren & Partners for the kindness shown, especially when he had to go in that big MRI machine or when he had to lay very still for his bone scans,” says Tanya.
For his recovery in the hospital, the family would like to thank Anel Potgieter (medical orthotist), Cornette Meyer & Wendy Hsiao, who the family describes as the physiotherapists with big hearts.
A further thank you also goes out to the orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Nico van der Walt, for his extensive help. As well as Veros BlueStar Financial Advisory Services.
Now on the path of healing, walking around with a leg brace and crutches, Josh is excited about being back at home.
“I want to thank all the doctors and everyone else for helping me,” he smiles.
As the year comes to an end, Josh and his family are eager to spend the festive season together, knowing that miracles never seize.