The Children’s Hospital Trust raises funds for critical child healthcare needs at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and in the broader Western Cape Province. A current priority is to fund a three year therapeutic program at St Joseph’s for Chronically Ill Children in Montana, Cape Town.

The program aims to improve the quality of life of children through intensive physiotherapy and occupational therapy, after suffering serious illness or injury. This rehabilitation program which the Children’s Hospital Trust is currently funding at St Joseph’s will cost approximately R3.9million over a three year period and commenced in August 2013.

St Joseph’s is a convalescent facility which bridges the gap between discharge from a hospital and returning home, providing children like seven year old Mussadiq Lombard an opportunity to gain their independence again.

In 2013, Mussadiq was admitted to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital and diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome – a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the nervous system causing loss of motor function. Six months of physiotherapy at St Joseph’s helped him progress from being wheelchair bound to walking, jumping and kicking a ball like any other boy his age.

The St Joseph’s Rehabilitation Program aims to provide the following:

  • Longer-stay Therapy from medium (6 weeks) to long term (6 months) inpatient rehabilitation;
  • Short-stay Therapy offering a combination of short-stay inpatient rehabilitation (1 to 2 weeks every 3 months) and home-based rehabilitation support for a period of up to 9 months;
  • Parental Education and Support via a multidisciplinary team to ensure understanding, teaching simple techniques to aid their child at home, and set up support groups for parents with children with similar needs. Weekly case discussions, quarterly parent workshops, ongoing parent education in the wards, and trial discharges prior to final discharge all form part of the parental education;
  • Home-based Rehabilitation Support for all patients upon discharge where the two St Joseph’s rehabilitation care workers will conduct weekly home visits for a period of up to 3 months to monitor the patients’ well-being.