Memoir

Mrs Martha Joubert

Mrs Martha Joubert “The best surgeon ever. I felt I had to write this to express my gratitude for everything Henry van Niekerk’s done for me. Not only has he made me feel safe, cared for and comfortable, but his reassuring words gave me the strength I needed to successfully pull through the surgery – and considering I’m 86 that’s no easy feat! His high level of professionalism and skill as a surgeon aside, his bedside manner is calm, positive and personal,

Mandla & Martha Khwela

“Henry van Niekerk has been in our family’s lives since 2015. His top priority is the health and wellbeing of those around him – especially the people who come to see him. He’s humble and respectful to everyone, whether a fellow doctor, part of his team or a patient, you’re always made to feel important. His caring nature and skills as a specialist surgeon have instilled such a deep sense of trust in us. And we know, no matter what happens,

Kalina Moodley

“I first met Henry van Niekerk when I was referred to him by my GP after I found a lump in my breast. He performed a biopsy and two days later I was sitting in his rooms while he told me I had breast cancer. Scared is an understatement, but through it all he was, and is, always there for me and my family. His professionalism and compassion have exceeded what I’d expect from a surgeon. Big or small, no matter

Memoirs of a surgeon: An hour late

The day I met Jan, it was a late Wednesday afternoon and he was writhing in agony in the casualty department. It seemed no matter what he was given to ease the pain, nothing worked. When I arrived, he was out of control, begging for us to “end it”. His scared, soft-spoken wife told me she’d never seen him like this before. This wasn’t the Jan she knew. I could see why a specialist who’d seen him earlier thought he

Sandy Borden

I was phoned from Underberg recently, the doctor there wanted me to see a woman who he thought had a severe gangrene-type infection around her lower back area. He told me she was an American tourist on an off-road bike Safari who’d just come down Sani pass out of Lesotho. Awaiting her arrival, I dreaded what was coming my way. Was it necrotising fasciitis? An often lethal disease, necrotising fasciitis is an infection that spreads like wildfire through soft tissue, destroying

Mrs Kathleen Baynesfield

Not infrequently I’m called upon to help care for critically ill, frail and elderly patients. Challenging ethical problems often present themselves in these instances, as can be appreciated by the case of Mrs Kathleen Baynesfield. I was called to the casualty department late one night to see an 87 year old lady with a colon perforation caused by diverticular disease. This is when a small, age-related pressure bubble in the colon wall gets infected, bursts and causes severe infection. She would

Karen Short

“I required an emergency surgical procedure and Dr van Nierkerk was called in for the consult. The minute he stepped in he immediately took control of the situation. Even under the stressful circumstances, he gave me thorough and informative pre-operative instructions and the operation was a success. Not only is Dr van Niekerk a highly skilled surgeon who stays calm under pressure, but his concern went beyond caring for me, he was equally as compassionate towards my family. And it didn’t