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 Hope 4 Heather

Hope 4 Heather

Personal message

Once a budding gymnast and ballerina from Port Elizabeth, our daughter, Heather Botha, had to give up her aspirations when she was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a rare condition characterised by a continuous and spontaneous regional pain.  It is described as so severe that it has been known to drive people to the brink of death, as the pain is worse than childbirth or amputation without sedation

CRPS typically develops after an injury, surgery, stroke or heart attack.  The pain is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury.  The nerves misfire, sending constant pain signals to the brain.  Our daughter suffered such an injury and was diagnosed with this debilitating disease in June 2018.

When people meet Heather, our pretty girl with a bright smile, they remark how brave she is and how she has managed to take every setback in her stride, but behind her smile is a great deal of pain.

We tried all possible treatment options in South Africa, from chemotherapy to herbal remedies and physio, but nothing seemed to work. Heather spent time at Aurora Rehabilitation Hospital, as well as the Red Cross Children’s Hospital and Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.  While she soon regained use of her right hand, the disease had spread to her feet.

She is now wheelchair-bound and the bottom of her feet are blackened as if she has walked through coals and that is exactly how she describes her pain — as if she is being burnt.  Her mouth is constantly sore and she battles to eat hard or crunchy food.  We so badly want to comfort her with a hug, but the last thing Heather wants is to be touched, as it hurts too much.

Prospects of any kind of a normal life now hinge on raising enough funds for our daughter to be treated by a CRPS specialist in the US.  We hope to raise enough money to be treated under Dr Katinka van der Merwe, who practises in Arkansas and treats patients all over the world using her neurologic recovery plan.  Dr Van der Merwe, who is also South African, has already offered to treat Heather at a significantly reduced fee.  Because it is so rare, there are very few doctors who specialise in CRPS.  Dr Van der Merwe is really our last hope.

We had hoped our daughter would have received treatment before Christmas so that she could enjoy the holiday for the first time in three years, but it was not to be.  We had suffered financially, as I had to give up my job to care for Heather, which is a full-time job.

Our 14-year-old longs to live a normal teenage life and dreams of going to the mall with her friends.  She has already missed so much of her childhood, which she can never get back.

By helping Heather, you will:

 Raise awareness about CRPS
 Boost the funds we raise
 Significantly expand the reach of her fundraiser

By reaching our first target of R50 000, we will be able to get 
Visas
The flight to Cape Town for the interview
The flight to the US 

Links to her articles published in the EP Herald and PE Express this month:
https://www.heraldlive.co.za/news/2020-10-19-a-pain-so-loud-it-is-deafening/
https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/local/pe-express/teen-with-rare-condition-in-pain-worse-than-childbirth-20201012

You can also follow Heather’s journey on the “Hope 4 Heather” Facebook page.

Donations

  • Nov 04, 2021 - USD $ 32.79
  • "HOPE" - Bettie Hough

  • Oct 24, 2021 - USD $ 100.00
  • "We are so supportive of Heather and her hard work and determination in beating CRPS." - Kristen Toms & family

  • Oct 21, 2021 - USD $ 34.73
  • "All the best!" - Emile Cairncross

  • Oct 03, 2021 - R 200.00
  • "Sending healing love. You are such an inspiration" - Anonymous

  • Oct 01, 2021 - USD $ 20.06
  • "Never ever give up " - Fellow warrior

  • Sep 30, 2021 - R 4 000.00
  • "Thinking of Heather often and praying for a full recovery!" - Anonymous

  • Sep 30, 2021 - R 100.00
  • "Keep on fighting brave girl" - Renee

  • Sep 29, 2021 - R 2 000.00
  • "Its a long road Heather, but keep your spirit up!" - Eugene

  • Sep 29, 2021 - USD $ 30.00
  • "Sending love and healing " - Shelby Doubek

  • Sep 28, 2021 - R 1 000.00
  • "When God is working there is always hope for this awesome family and for nations to unite in love for one another" - Zelda Lourens Strydom

  • Aug 23, 2021 - USD $ 65.00
  • "Hi Heather and Hayleigh, Kindly accept our donation. We are so proud of you both. Keep up the good work Heather. You can do this hun!!!" - Anonymous

  • Aug 15, 2021 - USD $ 100.00
  • "God bless. You’re in our prayers." - M & N

  • May 27, 2021 - R 1 000.00
  • "

    All the best.God bless.

    " - Wilma Langson

  • May 26, 2021 - R 500.00
  • "Super proud of both you. You are a real inspiration" - Belinda

  • May 16, 2021 - USD $ 100.00
  • "Our family is so happy seeing how your hard work is paying off!! :)" - Kristen Toms & family

  • May 14, 2021 - USD $ 106.04
  • "Heather, you are an inspiration! May your life be extraordinary!" - Sarah and Jean

  • Apr 30, 2021 - R 500.00
  • "I'm so happy for you, get well soon. " - Anonymous

  • Apr 28, 2021 - R 2 000.00
  • "Following your journey on Facebook and so proud of you Heather. God bless! " - Anonymous

  • Apr 08, 2021 - R 100.00
  • "God Bless, may you reach your target soon" - Anonymous

  • Apr 04, 2021 - R 200.00
  • "May the Almighty shower his mercy, blessings & healing hands upon you" - Baadia Bardien

  • Mar 15, 2021 - R 100.00
  • "

    Heather will be healed in Jesus name!

    " - Agnetha

  • Mar 13, 2021 - R 100.00
  • "May God give you strength " - Anonymous

  • Mar 12, 2021 - R 5 000.00
  • "

    Keeping Heather in my prayers

    " - Anonymous

  • Mar 11, 2021 - USD $ 34.71
  • "Best wishes" - Anon

  • Mar 09, 2021 - R 100.00
  • "You got this" - Anonymous

  • Mar 08, 2021 - R 2 000.00
  • "For Heather & Hayleigh....... God is fighting this battle...." - Henietry Erasmus

  • Feb 18, 2021 - R 200.00
  • "Wishing you a smooth and speedy path to healing!" - K

  • Dec 15, 2020 - USD $ 498.35
  • "May God sustain you until you are free from this pain. " - Anonymous

  • Dec 11, 2020 - R 200.00
  • "Feel better soon" - Cindy Berry

  • Dec 10, 2020 - USD $ 16.75
  • "Best wishes" - Anon

  • Dec 10, 2020 - R 200.00
  • "In my prayers" - Sandi

  • Dec 10, 2020 - R 1 000.00
  • "Sending you healing vibes ️" - East Coast Tattoos

  • Dec 10, 2020 - R 200.00
  • "Sterkte bok! Ons bid vir jou xx" - Tia Botha

  • Dec 10, 2020 - USD $ 200.97
  • "Hope this helps a little. Stay strong." - Anonymous

  • Dec 04, 2020 - USD $ 13.10
  • "Keeping Heather in my prayers" - Anonymous

  • Nov 29, 2020 - R 200.00
  • "Have hope. " - Anonymous

  • Nov 19, 2020 - USD $ 15.00
  • "Wishing Heather a speedy and full recovery!" - Khudaija

  • Oct 27, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "All the very best with what looks to be a very difficult journey for all of you! " - Niven Postma

  • Oct 22, 2020 - USD $ 30.49
  • "Bless your family" - Sr T

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Statistics

Donations to date

R 42 206.04

Fundraising target

R 50 000.00
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