On October 6, Frikkie Grobbelaar, diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND) attended his son’s wedding with the help of the ER24 Services and the local Sedgefield community, ensuring he did not miss a moment of the big day.

Grobbelaar, aged 62 was diagnosed at the beginning of year with MND, the debilitating disease caused his condition to drastically deteriorate over nine short months. In the start, Grobbelaar had some level of mobility with the use of a wheelchair but is now completely bedridden.

Grobbelaar’s wife, Maria approached the ER24 services in September to find out if it would be possible to hire an ambulance for the day. ER24 Southern Cape Branch Manager, Johann Prinsloo, responded to her, sharing that it may be both difficult and costly.

“I explained to her that, unfortunately, it is quite expensive but that I would try and make a plan. Only afterwards did she explain why she needed it and for who. So, I decided to pay the family a visit in Sedgefield,” he said.

Following the visit to Sedgefield, Prinsloo was determined to help them.

“After meeting the family and realising the full extent of Frikkie’s illness, I knew I had to help them some way or another. I told them that ER24 would sponsor the ambulance for the day and we would make sure that he is taken care of from the beginning to the end,” said Prinsloo.

The family received the news with emotion and tears of joy, especially Jaendré, Frikkie’s son. The two share a very close bond and five months ago, Jaendré decided to give up his job in Cape Town and move to Sedgefield to support his parents during this difficult time.

The soon to be married couple decided to push the wedding date earlier, unsure of how much time they had left with Frikkie.

Jaendré said it was important to have his father at the wedding and was grateful for ER24’s efforts.

“Initially, we wanted to transport my dad to the wedding in a vehicle, but he wasn’t too keen about it. We started phoning around for an ambulance, but the quotations we received were completely out of our budget. We started feeling quite defeated. It meant so much to us as a family when Johann delivered the news that dad would be able to attend our wedding and that he would be cared for,” said Jaendré.

On the wedding day, ER24 Southern Cape paramedics prepared the ambulance for Frikkie, coordinating the mobile bed grey sheeting with the wedding colours and theme.

Paramedic Andre Botha, says everyone was touched by the heartwarming event.

“It was an emotional day not just for the guest but for us too. It was a privilege to be able to help,” Botha said.

The Grobbelaar family

Frikkie was given the opportunity to see his youngest son get married.

The happy couple, Jaendré and Nicole

“My dad couldn’t stop smiling,” said Jaendré.

ER24 went the extra mile to help a family share an auspicious day together.

Picture: ER24 Twitter

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about social issues, the environment and current affairs.