17th Dec 2017 11:53:19 AM

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Sthabile



Sthabile Mnyandu (19) won bronze in the African Table Tennis Championships held in Morocco in October 2015, as she represented South Africa there. Future Paralympians might be selected from those who participated.
Sthabile continues to attend high school in kwaZuluNatal.
In common with many African burns survivors, she is behind in her schooling, in part due to having suffered injury and having spent too long in hospital without educational support.
Sthabile stayed with Children of Fire in Johannesburg before she travelled as our whole team ran around gathering documents needed.
We also encouraged her to read about the country and the route before she set off via several airports, to reach her final destination.
We had obtained Sthabile’s first passport to allow mountain climbing in Cameroon and from our mostly-effective working relationship with the Department of Home Affairs, managed to get her a new passport in record time.
Sthabile appeared on SABC television news, playing table tennis on our terrace with a schoolboy who came to visit that October day. 15 seconds of fame... and then some more.

Sthabile has grown in confidence and happiness since she has been with Children of Fire. She has undergone hand surgery and tissue expansion to stretch her scalp.
As she wore a hat too tightly, one expander burst and she did not get the full scalp improvement that she hoped for - but nonetheless the improvement was significant.
Sthabile will need two more expanders in her scalp. They cost about R4000 each and can take three or more months to expand.
While we will push for her to have surgery in November 2011, it may only be possible in January or February 2012. She will inevitably miss some more schooling in KwaZulu Natal but can be supported at our sister charity, "Beka". That school is only a primary school and cannot offer the full range of high school subjects.
She has learned many skills that are not necessarily in a normal school curriculum and had many new experiences.
Sthabile can now read and type Braille and gets on well with blind pupils.
Sthabile can run errands e.g. to pay cheques into a bank.
Sthabile has had cultural experiences like going to the National Children's Theatre three times and she has also gone to see the circus and Johannesburg Zoo and been to Gold Reef City.
During the school's Africa My Continent week she learned about countries like Egypt and Ethiopia.
She enjoyed music lessons and she experienced interactive drumming sessions with Drums and Rhythm.
Sthabile has learned cookery at weekends, cooking meals like pancakes, three bean stew, and homemade meatballs.
Most notable of all Sthabile's achievements was when she flew to Cameroon in Central-West Africa and climbed a slumbering volcano: Mt Cameroon. In going to Cameroon she learned about volcanoes, climbing, the geography, plants and wildlife of another country, some elementary French and she saw a country that is in many ways much poorer than South Africa .. and yet it has far less crime.
In preparing for Mt Cameroon she met two South Africans who have climbed to the top of Mt Everest as well as a South African volcanologist from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Sthabile has met people from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, from Cameroon, from Zimbabwe, from Britain, from Germany, from Australia and from France. She was a world view now and we hope that she will get to visit her friends of different nationalities one day.
If only she will read more books, she will go far!



Sthabile's tissue expanders were removed in May 2011 and her hairline has improved but there is quite a long way to go still.



Sthabile will need more tissue expansion in 2012 to deal with the remaining burns alopecia (bald patches).



Sthabile's back of head, after tissue expander removal in May 2011.



Sthabile still cannot get good splinting post-surgery of her right hand in the state sector in May 2011.
The materials used are poor and the alignment is poor.
The best occupational therapist for hands in our area of Johannesburg is Janet Fletcher at Milpark Hospital, but she does not have time to take on many pro bono patients.
The children need people who are really experienced in thermoplastic splinting and who have access to the correct materials.



Sthabile after removal of tissue expanders in May 2011.



Sthabile is grieving her finger amputated without consent at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

It is time that South Africa's orthopaedic surgeons started to read this website. March 2011.



Sthabile, seen here eating at moyo Zoo Lake, flanked by Amanda and by Doreen. She succeeded in climbing to the top of Mt Cameroon in January 2011. She had two tissue expanders in her head (front and back) but they were not significantly inflated at that stage.







Sthabile Francisca Mnyandu was born on 3rd March 1996. She was originally from the Dalton area of KwaZulu Natal and was severely burned in a veldt fire in July 2002 when she was six years, four months, old.

She was treated at Montobelo Hospital and then was transferred to Greys Hospital.

She had physiotherapy at some stage but it is not continuing; it should have.

Sthabile was brought to Children of Fire after lengthy correspondence with Sphindile Nxele from the Ethembeni School for physically disabled and visually impaired children.

A lot of improvement could have been achieved in the child between 2002 and 2005 but waiting more than eight years post-injury to try to help the child further, is seriously to her detriment.

She needs operations on her scalp, ear, hand, feet and surgery to her posterior. Only a small part of this will be available to her in the state system.

There is no reason other than appearance and the social tendency to tease, that would prevent Sthabile from attending a normal school. However the advantage of attending a school for the disabled is that the children tend to get better education in smaller classes, than would be available in mainstream schools.

After arrival in October 2010 she was finally booked for the insertion of two tissue expanders in her scalp on 7th December 2010 at the Charlotte Maxeke hospital.

Sthabile's tissue expansion will continue in January and February so she will remain with the charity until at least March 2011 and will return there in the future.

She has started to gain more confidence and very much enjoyed her first-ever visit to the theatre on 17th November 2010 when she attended a performance of Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, adjusted into an African context.

Sthabile enjoys athletics and playing soccer. Maybe Banyana Banyana, the South African women's team, will give her a chance to play for them one day?









Sthabile has a serious foot contracture on her left foot. She needs a graft to the top of the foot, so that the toes can reach a more normal position and k-wiring









Sthabile is 14 years old and burned on both feet, her tummy, her scalp and her hands and head. She came to Children of Fire in 2010 and was due to have two tissue expanders inserted on 7th December 2010 at Charlotte Maxeke hospital in Johannesburg.




















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