“Doctor” Luciano, 7, reported for duty at Netcare Greenacres Hospital yesterday, confident and proud in his uniform.
The soft-spoken little boy suffers from a life threatening illness and was extremely excited to live out his dream of being like his heroes – the medical professionals who heal children just like him.
While most boys prefer to don a cape and pretend to be Batman or Superman, Luciano’s super powers came from a lab coat and stethoscope.
“You could just see his posture and attitude change when he received his coat and medical supplies,” Reach for a Dream’s Charne Blume said.
“He walked ahead of us and was ready for action.”
When asked why he chose to live out his “dream” this way Luciano, whose personal hero is his doctor at Dora Nginza Hospital, Elmarie Matthews, just smiled and said: “I like doctors, they make children better.”
According to his grandmother Elisabe, who has been his guardian since he lost his mother at five months old, Luciano has wanted to be a doctor for years, saying he dreams of healing himself and children like him.
His “shift” at the hospital, which included shadowing pediatrician Dr Wayne Jones, was made possible by Reach for a Dream and included him meeting patients and staff and even doing a few mock examinations.
Luciano is no stranger to hospitals having received treatment at Dora Nginza since he was just two years old, often spending as long as six weeks at a time in a hospital bed.
Elisabe said he was very serious about becoming a doctor when he grew up and spent most of his time playing doctor, using his brother, Haywin, 11, and his stuffed animals to play the role of patients.
“I told him he would have to study very hard to be a doctor and he has proven he can by getting good grades despite having to miss school for treatment,” Elisabe said.
Luciano will be in Grade 2 next year and is a real bookworm.
Haywin has taken on the role of protector and tagged along to see his little brother’s dream come true.
The pair received an extra treat when they visited Kart Kings, an indoor go-karting circuit at Moffett on Main, after Luciano’s “shift” ended.
– Eleanor Douglas-Meyers