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Dear Dr Schürmann

Dear Prof Takawira, Dr Schürmann, Dr Naidoo, Dr Lazarus, Rianie, Sr Karen, all the staff who’s names I never learned or may have forgotten as well as ALL the staff behind the scenes that most of us as parents never get to meet. I am writing to express my deepest and sincerest gratitude for the extraordinary care and expertise you provided to my son during his recent stay in the CTICU at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital. Words cannot adequately convey the immense appreciation my family and I have for the incredible work you and your team have done. During those trying times, you exhibited an unwavering commitment to saving lives, and you successfully saved my son's life. Your skills, dedication, and compassionate nature surpassed our expectations, giving us comfort and reassurance throughout the entire process. From the moment we arrived at the hospital, you treated not only my son's CHD, but also our concerns and fears with utmost respect and empathy. Your unwavering dedication is a privilege to witness and has inspired me in many ways. Please know that your hard work and perseverance make a significant impact on the people around you. My son, Dietrich, was born 24 October 2022 to very excited parents, a 2-year-old sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends. Soon after birth he was diagnosed with Down Syndrome but much more significant than that he was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect known as an atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD). This is where our journey started with the people of the Maboneng Heart and Lung Institute and the CTICU at Sunninghill Hospital. To make a very long story short Dietrich underwent two operations, one at three weeks old and the second one at 9 months old. Dr Schürmann and his team where able to completely repair Dietrich’s AVSD without any complications, a very good outcome taking into account everything that could have gone wrong. Before the operation I remember Dr Schürmann coming to talk to us and running through all the possible complications that could arise during and after an operation like this. I could see the checklist in his head as he went through every possible scenario. I went numb and didn’t really say anything. I just surrendered and trusted this complete stranger with my most precious possession, my son, my baby, my everything. And so, we waited. After 4 hours the doors of the CTICU opened and Dr Schürmann and Dr Naidoo came walking through them. I jumped out of my seat and in a matter of 0.0001 seconds I was standing in front of Dr Schürmann and Dr Naidoo. My husband on the other hand, trying to pick up all of Dietrich’s bags, very unsuccessfully I might add, took what felt to me like hours to get there. I remember Dr Schürmann saying “Alles het goed gegaan. Geen komplikasies nie.” They smiled, turned around and walked away. I just starting bawling my eyes out, all the tension from the last nine months released all at once. It was done. It went well. He is going to be fine. He is the happiest baby with the brightest smile and thanks to everyone involved he will be able to share that smile with everyone for many more years to come. Yours sincerely, The Müller Family


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