WAITING FOR SURGERY: Shane-Lee Koopman, 13, can only have liquids

This teen's been dreaming of eating a KFC burger, but doctors say he'll have to wait a little longer for an operation to open his jaw.

Doctors have postponed Shane-Lee Koopman’s life-changing operation for a third time, but the family hopes he might get to eat lekker skaapboud on Christmas Day.

The postponement caused the 13-year-old so much stress that his blood pressure shot sky high and he was admitted to hospital after a massive asthma attack.

Doctors noticed his high blood pressure during routine checks, while also struggling to get his asthma under control.

“It must be because of all the stress,” says his mother Sharon.

Shane-Lee was due to undergo an operation at Tygerberg yesterday to repair the left side of his jawbone, which had crumbled due to osteoporosis, leaving him unable open his mouth, let alone chew.

The teen from De Doorns, who was born with a cleft palate which was repaired two years ago, is only able to sip his meals through a straw or a sippy bottle.

His biggest wish is to be able to eat lollipops like normal children, take a bite out of an apple or chow a juicy steak.

But chances of this happening soon are slim, after doctors postponed his operation for the third time.

“Doctors fear his lungs won’t cope during the long operation because his chest is really tight after he suffered an asthma attack last week,” explains Sharon.

“Doctors fear he might have a lung infection so they want to do X-rays first before they decide when they’ll do the operation.”

But Shane-Lee is not worried about the 11-hour procedure, and looks forward to the day he can eat to his heart’s content.

Ek is al daar deur, so I’m not scared. But thoughts of how I’ll feel and look afterwards keep going through my head,” says the boy.

Western Cape Health Department spokesperson Bianca Carls says Shane-Lee’s condition is “very complex”.

“The medical physicians have requested the time and space to determine the best treatment plan to assist Shane-Lee. The medical teams are doing everything to assist Shane-Lee in the swiftest time possible,” she says.