18 November 2016 – A group of boys from the Saint Andrew’s Junior Interact Society visited the Neonatal Unit at Universitas Private Hospital on Friday morning, bearing gifts for the mothers of premature babies on World Prematurity Day.
The group was accompanied by teachers Lucille Cooper and Mizanne Connan, while Mrs Tercia de Bruyn guided the boys through a visit to the moms and babies with the assistance of Doctor Arina van der Byl, the Head of the Neonatal Unit.
A warm welcome awaited the Saint Andrew’s Junior Interact Society boys at the Universitas Private Hospital Neonatal Unit
A warm reception awaited them from staff and mothers alike as they presented each mom with a face cloth and soap, which were paid for from Junior Interact funds.
The occasion marked Ms. Cooper’s last official visit with Saint Andrew’s to the Children’s Wing Project as she retires at the end of the year.
Speaking on behalf of the Children’s Wing Project, Tercia de Bruyn was effusive in her praise of Ms. Cooper, saying: “Lucille has been involved with this project since 2007, which was when we started with the Beds of Hope programme. She and Saint Andrew’s got involved and they did several projects to assist us.
“That project finished at the end of 2012 and then I took over from my predecessor, and then we started the Children’s Wing Project. It has different arms: Universitas Neonatal, the paediatric wards on the 10th floor, as well as Pelonomi. Throughout this time there have been a number of projects when we have needed stuff and Lucille has always been willing to assist.”
Friday’s support of the Neonatal Unit marked the last official Interact visit of Ms. Lucille Cooper, who has been actively involved with the Junior Interact Club for well over two decades
De Bruin also warmly praised Saint Andrew’s. “Saint Andrew’s is the only school that has consistently supported us,” she said. “Others help from time to time, but Saints has always been there for us.”
In total, Ms. Cooper’s involvement with the Neonatal Unit extends back about 25 years. It began when she responded to a fax requesting assistance. Close ties have since been formed with the Department of Paediatrics, with the Head of Paediatrics, Professor Andre Venter, addressing the Saint Andrew’s staff annually on a variety of subjects.
Mrs De Bruyn concluded by saying she looked forward to working with Saint Andrew’s in the future, but the school will have big shoes to fill with the departure of Ms. Cooper: “Our children, currently, are not involved and keen on doing that, so I think Saint Andrew’s is losing a star. She plays a major role in kids’ lives. I hope and pray that they get somebody who is able to do the same, or they must use her as a consultant,” she said with a smile.