Carina van Heerden is a true inspiration. Not only has she adopted several children, and fosters others – of which some have special needs – but she also runs a place of safety for babies in crisis. Carina is passionate about her purpose on the planet, and wouldn’t want to do anything else.

Working with all of these children over the last 14 years has, however, taken its toll on Carina’s hands.

The physical nature of her work has caused Carina to develop osteoarthritis at the base of both her thumbs. She was in immense pain, but the good news was that her pain could be relieved through surgery. The surgery, however, would be expensive and all of Carina’s money was going towards the children in her care.

Carina was at a crossroads: She desperately needed the surgery that, because she used all of her funds to provide for the children in her care, she could not afford. Without the surgery, she would not be able to continue her work anyway.

In 2019, Operation Healing Hands – with the help of Jacaranda FM’s ‘Good Morning Angels’ – came to Carina’s rescue by providing the surgery she needed to be able to help more children, free of charge. During the procedure, both arthritic metacarpophalangeal thumb joints were excised, the trapezium bones removed, and the joints reconstructed with artificial tendon implants.

After her recovery, Carina was able to continue her work with the children pain-free and with a little extra cash. All of the excess funds that were raised for Carina’s procedure are now being used towards the medical expenses of the children in her care.

Article by Magriet Stander


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