A security guard who has a large tumour growing on his face was sacked from his job because his appearance was upsetting customers.
Sipho Hadebe, 39, has been living with the gradually expanding growth for 12 years – but it has now got so large he struggles to breathe.
Doctors have said the tumour is putting pressure on his respiratory airway and an examination confirmed within a year he would no longer be able to breathe.
Sipho Hadebe has been living with the gradually expanding growth for 12 years – but it has now got so large he struggles to breathe. Doctors have said the tumour is putting pressure on his respiratory airway and within a year he will no longer be able to breathe
His local hospital had him on a waiting list which meant he would have had to wait for seven years before he could have the operation to remove the tumour – the only way he can get his job back.
But because his income is so low and completely reliant on his wife who works in a supermarket, he began to fundraise in a desperate attempt to ease his suffering.
And now, after strangers have donated more than £2,000, he is set to undergo private treatment that experts believe will save his life.
A team of doctors at Lowveld Hospital, in Mpumalanga provice, South Africa, have offered their services to ease the pressure on his lungs.
He was on a waiting list for an operation to remove the tumour – but was told it would take seven years. He decided to fundraise for private treatment and now strangers have donated more than £2,000 for him to have the growth removed
They will perform a seven-hour reconstructive surgery once all of the funds – believed to be around the £3,000 mark – are in place for his rehabilitation.
Donations will also pay for the medicine he needs, although the staff and operating facilities are free.
Mr Hadebe’s wife said: ‘It’s difficult to communicate with Sipho as he finds it hard to speak, but he’s extremely grateful and excited about the reconstructive surgery.
‘This is the final hurdle between Sipho and a normal, healthy life.’
By yesterday afternoon, kind strangers had already donated more than £2,100 to his cause – leaving the hospital overwhelmed by the response.
Hospital spokesperson Lisa Volbrecht said: ‘It is amazing to see how everyone has opened their hearts and purses to help Sipho.’