More than R1m has been raised towards a R2m target to help Johannesburg doctor and radio DJ Sindi van Zyl to pay her medical bills.
The popular doctor has been admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for more than a month after contracting Covid-19.
Her husband Marinus made an impassioned plea over the Easter weekend for contributions to a fundraising campaign to help pay the mounting medical costs.
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During the long weekend, Marinus started the campaign #GiftSindiLife, pleading for donations to help settle his wife’s medical bills.
He said the costs, after six weeks, had exceeded R1m and the couple were running out of funds.
“Dr Sindi cannot breathe on her own yet, and the cost of needing to be on the ventilator alone is around R150,000 per week
“She has suffered several complications related to a long stay in ICU, and we need more funds to pay for her continued stay in hospital until her lungs can cope without the ventilator. We will use any funds raised to pay the medical bills to enable Dr Sindi the chance to survive,” said Marinus.
Between medical aids
According to a Sunday Times report, Marinus said Sindi was “in between” medical aids when she was admitted to hospital in February.
He said the family had mortgaged some of their properties to pay for the bills, but it wasn’t enough.
“We need help. This whole thing makes me so sad I want to cry, but I’m an Afrikaans man raised to be strong and that’s what I’ve been.
“Seeing her like that, not able to speak and breathe on her own, is traumatising for me because I know nothing about that part of life. She would have been able to handle it better. I can’t,” he said.
Crowdfunding overwhelms the family
Marinus said contributions to the crowdfunding scheme had been overwhelming and reaffirming for the family.
“The generosity has blown us away. It makes us positive. We are an embodiment of the rainbow nation in my family. Me marrying a Zulu woman is what South Africa is about,” he said.
“To see people responding in such a way shows the potential we have as a nation. She needs to get well. It would p*** a lot of people off if she didn’t.”
Brands and companies pledge donations
Brands and companies including Woolworths, 1Life Insurance, Ndash Food, Le Creuset and DStv announced they would be donating to help pay the medical bills.
Sindi’s former radio home, Kaya FM, also reached out to the family to offer support.
SA rallies behind Sindi
SA celebs and social media users took to Twitter to wish Sindi a speedy recovery.
Businessman Gayton McKenzie pledged to donate R50,000 towards the medical bills and said he would also fund the sound and logistics for a prayer day.