Red Cross patients thrilled to meet princes
LIVER transplant recipient Nathan April and his mates had been expecting to meet David Beckham, but the future king of England and his boet made pretty good substitutes.
Nathan, 17, was one of several young patients who chatted to princes William and Harry during the royals’ visit to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital yesterday.
The princes, in Cape Town for last night’s England-Algeria football match, launched a R10 million fundraising drive for a specialised surgery training facility at the hospital.
Nathan, from Eerste River, said he had been told that former England captain Beckham would be coming as well. But he was quite happy with the princes.
“They came all the way from America, ah, England, just to get to us. Makes us feel very important,” he said.
Nathan, who had the transplant in 1995, was in hospital for treatment for rejection problems.
Waseema Parker, 17, of Cravenby, in hospital for a routine check-up following her second kidney transplant in 2006, exchanged a few words with Harry.
She said: “I told him he has nice eyes. He said ‘thank you, it’s an honour to meet you’.
“I just can’t believe I met him... I’ll tell everyone.”
If she had to choose between William and Harry, she would go for Harry, she said.
“I think I’ll take him. I also support England. Coincidentally.”
Intensive care unit sister Galiema Abrahams, 23, agreed with Waseema, who also preferred Harry.
“And they’re very sexy. I’m a huge royal supporter. I’ve been waiting for this a very long time.”
The princes unveiled a plaque to mark the launch of the fundraising drive.
Head of paediatric surgery at the hospital, Professor Alastair Millar, said the funding was needed to develop a minimally invasive surgical skills training laboratory.
The facility would complement the state-of-the-art keyhole surgery the hospital was already performing in eight theatres commissioned last year.
“We hope that this will become a hub of teaching and learning throughout the continent of Africa, because there is no such facility in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.
Building was scheduled to start in September and a German manufacturer had already agreed to donate all the equipment needed, Millar said. – Sapa
SWOPPING GRINS: Prince Harry and Prince William talk to children at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital yesterday.