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A group of Hirsch Lyons High School girls visit the paediatric respiratory ward at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

A group of girls of Hirsch Lyons High School visited the paediatric respiratory ward at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and distributed protein-packed food to the patients and their families.

Following their visit in January, a clarion call was made to residents of Joburg to extend a helping hand and donate resourceful material for the patients.

The ward which the girls visited, caters for patients with cystic fibrosis which is a multisystem disease affecting almost every system in your body.

Cystic fibrosis is a disease where the affected individual inherits a faulty gene from each of his or her carrier parents, who by virtue of just being carriers, do not have the disease themselves.

According to Dr Susan Klugman people with this disease should be cared for by a multi-disciplinary team, including nursing staff skilled in treating cystic fibrosis as well as a pharmacist with an interest in the condition.

“They also need a social worker or a psychologist who can attend to their multiple emotional needs and in many situations their minister or priest as well.

“The patients struggle to gain weight because most of them lack the essential enzymes necessary to absorb their food,” said Klugman.

Good nutrition, with lots of tissue-building protein is of paramount importance and on the whole, the better nourished the patients are, the better the disease tends to be, added Klugman.

The visit to the hospital was organised by Dr Andy Goldman, a life orientation teacher at the school.

Goldman also managed to get R5 000 worth of groceries for the patients from Michael and Mark Gouveia, Southern Spar owners in Joburg.

People who want to help, are requested to donate food such as peanut butter, tinned fish and baked beans.

Read: Help Orange Grove’s pageant beauty to help others

By Thabo Jobo

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