Every year in Southern Africa, more than 8,000 children and adolescents between the ages of 1 and 14 years die as a result of unintentional preventable injuries. The sad reality is that a child in South Africa has 25 times more chance of ending up in hospital due to trauma or accident related injuries compared to the United Kingdom. One such child was little Jay-Vino.
A happy holiday shopping trip quickly turned into tragedy when two-year old Jay-Vino let go of his sister’s hand while crossing a busy road in the town of Oudtshoorn and was knocked over by a car. Jay-Vino was rushed to the local hospital 500km east of Cape Town and then flown by helicopter to George and finally to Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, all in the same day, in an attempt to get him the specialist care required to save his life. Doctors at the Red Cross War Children’s Hospital immediately sent the injured little boy for an MRI scan where it was discovered that that he was paralysed from the shoulders down. Renowned for its passion and expertise in treating critically injured children, Jay-Vino’s mom was reassured that the medical team would do everything possible to try and heal his injuries.
It is still early days but after a few weeks Jay-vino’s mother is ecstatic that her little boy is now able to move his arms and legs and she has faith that with the specialist care that he is receiving in the dedicated paediatric Trauma Unit he will fully recover. Most of Jay-Vino’s external injuries have healed beautifully and he is currently receiving physiotherapy on a daily basis and will eventually be moved to a local Rehabilitation Centre while he recovers.
Childsafe is an organisation dedicated to the protection of children through education of parents and caregivers and advocating for legislative change on design and environmental standards in order to prevent accidents like the one Jay-Vino had to endure. To continue with its invaluable work Childsafe requires a dedicated research and educational centre to be built at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. At this centre experienced staff can focus on improving child safety and injury prevention. The Children’s Hospital Trust needs to raise R5million to build the Childsafe Research and Educational Centre and hopefully less children will have to endure the pain and suffering associated with trauma.