Cape Town swimming coach in recovery after contracting a rare form of meningitis

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On 20 June 2021, Nicolaas Serfontein (36), an admired swimming teacher from Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, was rushed to the emergency room at Blaauwberg Netcare Hospital, after his wife, Tina, struggled to wake him up.

Doctors soon realised after conducting two Lumbar Punctures, and several tests, including multiple CT and MRI scans, that Nicky had contracted a rare form of meningitis and was also experiencing kidney failure.

Nicolaas Serfontein

To save Nicky’s life, he was put on a ventilator, placed in an induced coma for 4 days, and given a number of medications and drips. 

A Long road to rehabilitation

While Nicky has moved into a medical ward, after 20 days in ICU,  doctors predict that his road to rehabilitation will be a long one due to the severe medical trauma he has endured.

Nicky will soon need to begin occupational therapy as well as physiotherapy to make a full recovery and continue living life to the fullest.

Getting Nicky back on his feet

To assist Nicky with his medical costs as well as his living costs for the next couple of months, a member of his family, Zaren Knight (33), has launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy to appeal to the public for support in raising R100 000 to help Nicky get back on his feet after this traumatic and unexpected ordeal.

“Everyone knows Nicky as the kindest person with the biggest heart. He has a spirit of love and always puts others first. I always say that I’m a black-and-white person (yes and no), and Nicky is all the beautiful colours in between. He is the love of my life, and he is loved by so many. He is always ready to help someone else, but right now he needs our help.” says Nicolaas’ wife, Tina.

Nicky with his wife, Tina.

Since the launch of the campaign, over R14 000 has been raised from kind contributions from 25 donors who have left warm messages of encouragement for Nicky in his time of need.

‘Running with a smile’, Zaren, who is admittedly not a trained runner, ran over 20km, around the entire Swakopmund in Namibia on the 10th July 2021, to raise funds for Nicky’s campaign, pledging to donate R100 herself, for every kilometer she completed. 

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South Africa’s leading crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy has supported more than 10 000+ individuals and charities in setting up fundraising campaigns for medical fees, tuition and various causes in South Africa. The platform has thus far raised over R250 Million.

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