People open wallets to save mom’s life

SA man raised more than R400,000 to remove wife's brain tumour

Cherry-Lee Bekker and her baby, Noah, in a picture posted on Facebook by her husband, Byron
Cherry-Lee Bekker and her baby, Noah, in a picture posted on Facebook by her husband, Byron
Image: Facebook

A South African man raised more than R400,000 in two days to cover an emergency operation to remove his wife's brain tumour‚ which was discovered on a trip to the UK.

New mom Cherry-Lee Bekker was to go under the knife in one of London’s hospitals yesterday.

Two days previously, her husband, Byron, took to social media and a crowdfunding platform to appeal for funds to cover the payment that had to be settled before the surgery.

“On June 7 we received the news no one should ever have to get: ‘You have a brain tumour’ – especially three months after giving birth to their first child.

“Cherry-Lee‚ my fit, healthy wife‚ just 31 years old‚ shortly after landing in London had multiple seizures whilst on a trip to introduce our baby Noah to the family in the UK‚" Bekker wrote on Facebook.

She stopped breathing after the seizures and was resuscitated and rushed to hospital.

"After multiple scans and MRIs we were told that she had a 5cm glioma in the front left lobe of her brain.

“After consulting with South African and British doctors‚ we determined the risk to fly her back home for treatment was far too high‚" Bekker said.

He then discovered that their medical aid scheme would cover only a portion of the medical bills in the United Kingdom as it believed that she was fit to fly back home and it was cheaper to perform the procedure in South Africa.

Fearing that she would haemorrhage or go into cardiac arrest on a long-haul flight‚ Bekker knew he had to raise the funds to cover the shortfall.

He said from London yesterday that he and his wife had been in tears when they discovered they had raised enough funds to pay for the surgery.

The Bekkers are positive Cherry-Lee will pull through this "scary and traumatic ordeal".

"We will forever be grateful and indebted."