Dezrie van Dyk’s Story

Pectus Repair – Dezrie van Dyk’s Story.


Dezrie was born in December 2006, premature on 35 weeks.  Since she was 6 months old she used to be admitted with pneumonia and by the time she was 3 years old, sh has been admitted to hospital about 10 times. 

As she got older she complained about getting tired even if we just go to the mall or shop and every winter we struggled with her getting sick and constantly being on antibiotics.  In 2015 she had the worst year ever as she was admitted into ICU for a week.  The doctors was very worried, but she pulled through. 

Due to all this shortness of breath, getting tired so quickly she never used to perform very well in sport and were always chosen to be in the lowest teams.  She tried everything and anything and I could see that it broke her spirit and it started to have an effect on her self-esteem.

 One day during a dental procedure the anaesthetist, Dr van Tonder and I got into a conversation and he asked me if I ever had a specialist looking at her chest bone as he noticed that it is hollow and made a suggestion that I speak to our GP.  Our GP referred us to Dr Jordaan, a Cardiothoracic Surgeon in Bloemfontein. He diagnosed Dezrie with a Pectus Excavatum and referred us to Dr Schewits in Johannesburg as the procedure or technique he perform to repair this deformity have minimal scaring and shorter recovery period than the “old fashion” open chest operation.

After some test performed it showed that the reasons for all, or rather say most problems she experience was due a sever Pectus Excavatum and the chest bone started to press on her heart.  We scheduled her surgery to be performed by Dr Schewitz in July 2017.

Although this was a difficult 3 months after the operation for Dezrie – we managed through it all and in October 2017 she came home with a request that she wanted to try a new sport as a Drummie Majorette.  I knew that this sport required long hours of practicing, but I felt that if she wants to try it I will support her in any way possible and after spoken to the Club explaining Dezrie’s History they assured me that no matter what they will put her in the squad even if it is just to be a flag girl.

Since that day in October 2017 until present – Dezrie is a different child – Not due to the Drummies, but due to the operation she had.

Suddenly Dezrie did not complain about being tired at all.  And believe me that the training to becoming a Drum Majorette is long hours.  They practice all year around, Monday to Thursday from 15h00 till 17h00 and Saturday’s from 08h00 till 17h00.  Competitions they are busy from early in the mornings till late at evenings.

She managed to be in 2018 not just a flag girl, but was in most of the groups:  Small Drill, Large Drill and Pom Poms.  In 2019 she was in all the Groups, a Dual position as well as Squad Captain.  She also received her Free State Colours in Drum Majorettes:  (FSMCA).  This year she has been chosen to be a Sub Leader – which is a great accomplishment.

She also went for her SAMCA/Protea Colours trials in January – although she did not get it, she became famous that day for reaching the highest level on the Bleep Fitness test (Level 8)

It has been 3 Years and we just had the Bar removed and despite the bunch of energy and achievements – she have not been admitted to hospital or had Pneumonia ever since and never missed Drummie practice (except during the Lockdown).  She have confidence in herself as well as the way she looks.

I did not realise how much this effected my daughter until I read an essay that they had to write in Grade 5 where she explained the sadness she felt of never being good enough to be chosen for not being part in the Top 3 Sport Teams and how she felt ashamed of herself of looking different.

We are extremely grateful for Dr Schewitz, the Operation as well as for the Medical Aid that approved this procedure.  It has made a world of difference in our lives.

Thank you so much.


Marlize van Dyk

Cell Number:  082 378 1849



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