Fire victim walks again



September 5, 2016
Fire victim walks again

MAKING PROGRESS: Lance Minnies, 16

Lance has beaten the odds after surviving a fire that claimed eight lives.

The 16-year-old Mitchells Plain boy who survived a devastating fire which killed eight people has taken his first steps in hospital.

In June, Lance Minnies was clinging to life after he was left with 99 percent of burns on his body.

But the teen has beaten the odds and surprised doctors last week when he began walking on his own at Tygerberg Hospital’s burn unit.

Lance, a Grade 11 pupil at AZ Berman High School, was visiting his friend in Macbeth Street, Eastridge, when the fatal fire broke out on June 12, killing eight people.

Alfonso Swartz, 35, his daughter Tamia Swartz, 22-months, Tamia’s siblings, Cameron, six, and Elmarie Fredericks, five, and their cousins, siblings Nikita, three, Joshua, 13, and Kyle Abrahams, 18, and their cousin, Arafaat Madatt, 14, all perished.

Patrick Abrahams, 54, the owner of the house, his ex-wife Verona Abrahams, 52, their daughters, Gloria, 31, Shanice, 22, and friend Nawaal Erasmus, 23, survived.

Yesterday, Lance’s mother Rita Minnies called his progress 

“It happened one day last week, he asked the nursing staff to put him in a wheelchair because its not good being in bed all the time,” the mom says.

“He took two steps on his own. He didn’t have airtime to call me and placed a message on Facebook with a picture of him standing”.

Doctors previously amputated two of his toes and four toe tips due to gangrene.

Rita adds: “The doctor is concerned about the healing of his feet because when he walks, it bleeds.”

“Lance will be two more months in hospital and he will need physiotherapy.

A fundraising dance is being planned for September 23 at The Farm recreational hall in Morgenster.

For more information, contact Rita on 063 560 8272.

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