A bouncy eight-year-old and bubbly four-year-old came bounding out of the elevators at the Smile 90.4FM studios yesterday, with big energy and big hugs to go around the entire office.
Little Angelique Schröder’s story of courage has spread far and wide, and the Schröder family paid Smile 90.4FM a special visit after we featured her story on the radio.
The four-year-old recently became one of the youngest patients in South Africa to undergo a successful microvascular foot to hand transfer. Her toe is now a functioning digit on her hand. She’s been in and out of operations since she was just six months old, after being born with no hand, and only rudimentary digits on the other.
But you wouldn’t say she’s been through such trauma when meeting her.
Angelique is a determined little girl, at times shy, but definitely no shrinking violet – running through the office and rough-housing with her big brother Kian. Missing a toe is not a handicap for this little warrior, she even does ballet!
While the family has been through a lot, their hope for the future is inspirational. You can just sense, while they are still dealing with the trauma, that they are a strong family unit, and eight-year-old Kian is the ultimate supportive big brother.
At this tender age, he says he would be willing to give his own hands to his sister Angelique. He also talks with confidence about future technological advancements, like the possibility of growing limbs from thigh tissue?
Angelique won’t hear anything of it. She’s very happy with her own hand, proud to show everyone how she can wiggle her new finger.
The Schröder family left a massive impression on all of us, and the kids were super excited to be interviewed on Smile Breakfast, their first time in a radio studio!
The family has nothing but praise for Dr Mark van der Velde who has been with them every step of the way. He’s waived all his fees, and the Red Cross Children’s Hospital has also told them they can pay their hospital bill “when they can”.
A big thank you to Dr van der Velde and the Red Cross, and thank you to the Schröder’s for visiting our Smile family, and creeping into all of our hearts.
You can listen to Bobby Brown’s interview with Kian and Angelique on Smile Breakfast here.
Liesl Smit – News Manager, Smile 90.4FM News