Task Team intervenes to help ease little Keisha’s suffering

FEBRUARY 5, 2015

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s Rapid Response Task Team (RRTT) took government services to a new level when they visited the Helenvale house of a 7-year-old cancer sufferer Keisha Gysman, in an attempt to ease her fight against neuroblastoma on Wednesday, the municipality’s Communications Office said.

"The RRTT, established by Executive Mayor Benson Fihla to swiftly respond to urgent matters facing the community, essentially took government services to the Gysman family door in Kobus Road where life is a daily upheaval for the seriously ill toddler and her unemployed parents, Johnny and Hilary," the municipality said in a post on a local blog.

"Neuroblastoma is the most common extra cranial solid cancer in childhood and the most common cancer in infancy. Since little Keisha was diagnosed in May 2013, she has had to leave school, requires constant care and the disease has led to facial deformity on the right side of her face.

"Mr Zonile Ndoni, RRTT Coordinator, said a full assessment was done concerning the needs of the family."

The intervention of the team, that works closely with all government departments, led to the following outcomes, amongst others:

  • A wall is in the process of being build to create a separation between the bathroom and the kitchen,
  • A toilet leak is in the process of being fixed,
  • Application for a Care Dependency Grant has been submitted at the South African Social Security Agency offices,
  • The Eastern Cape Department of Health committed to home-based care and regular visits to the patient,
  • The team will now stay in contact with the family to stay abreast if and when they require more help,
  • Municipal social workers are tasked with producing follow-up assessment reports with a special focus on the sick child and her family,
  • Follow-up will be done regarding adequate shelter for the family of ten.

Mrs Hilary Gysman appreciated the visit and the unexpected progressive intervention by the Office of the Executive Mayor.

RRTT was established towards the end of 2013 and made great strides since then to assist Nelson Mandela Bay residents in need. Action for the Gysman family followed after requests from the Ward Committee to the Office of the Executive Mayor and Chief Whip Joy Seale (ANC).