ER24 makes wishes come true


A seven-year-old’s dream recently came true when he became the youngest ‘member’ of ER24 before going into theatre for surgery.

Little Aidan Botha, dressed in his red ER24 superhero flight suit, took his first official ride in an ambulance and, with the help of sirens blaring and lights flashing, Aidan, in the company of his ER24 and Life Healthcare ‘colleagues’ and family, bravely reported for duty at the Mediclinic Morningside.

Aidan, who lives in Bryanston, was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Costello syndrome when he was 18 months old. The syndrome is so rare that he is only the second diagnosis in South Africa. He is one of only a few hundred people worldwide who has been diagnosed. In Aidan’s case, he has to undergo abdominal scans every three months to screen for cancerous tumours. He also has to undergo heart scans as he has a thickened left ventricle wall.

Saul Berhmann, Little Aiden (now dressed like a paramedic) and Russel Meiring.

The little fighter recently developed growths under his lower eyelids and the surgery was to remove these growths, as well as his adenoids. Aidan’s mother, Melissa Botha, requested a visit from emergency services to lighten up his mood in the run-up to his operation.

“Aidan loves emergency services … firefighters, police officers, paramedics, ambulances … he gets so excited. With the run-up to this operation and Aidan having had so many bad experiences, I put a message on Facebook stating that Aidan was not dealing well with the idea of another hospital visit.

“I requested a visit from any emergency service. ER24 contacted me wanting to assist.”

ER24 visited Aiden with a goodie bag and flight suit and paramedics, including branch manager Saul Behrmann, picked Aidan up and took him to hospital.

“There were a number of vehicles [response vehicles, an ambulance and a rescue vehicle] at our door. ER24 made such an impact. Aidan got to ride to hospital in the ambulance. He was the paramedic and I had to play the patient. I cannot thank ER24 enough. Aidan was so excited and had a blast before his operation. The paramedics literally changed his whole experience with hospitals,” said Botha.

To find out more about how you can help Aidan, visit: or the Raising Aidan Facebook page.

Chronicle Reporter

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