We join the little burn victim and her family on the day she’s moved to a rehab clinic where she will learn to be a child again the road ahead for pippie By DANÉL BLAAUW Pictures: DINO CODEVILLA & LUBA LESOLLE
She looks fragile and almost lost in the big hospital bed as the camera flashes of the photographers assembled in the ward go off in quick succession around her. But those blue “angel eyes” her mom, Anicè, constantly talks about gaze past all the people around her. They’re fixed on the nurse bringing her last meal here at Garden City Clinic in Johannesburg. It’s one of her favourite treats: yoghurt. It’s pink, the colour that has become synonymous with Pippie Kruger (3), the toddler who has made South Africa believe in miracles again. Dr Ridwan Mia, the plastic surgeon who performed groundbreaking surgery on Pippie’s severely burnt body, quietly enters the room. He’s wearing his Pippie tie, the pink and-black one he dons on special occasions especially for his miracle patient. Today, her 185th at the hospital, marks the start of a new journey for the little girl who was thought to have almost no chance of survival when she sustained third-degree burn over 80 per cent of her body on New Year’s Eve.