This week, in #HospiceVisits, we highlight Lambano Sanctuary. Lambano is an organisation that receives children with a range of life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses, to give hope and to transform lives through love and care.

Today we catch up with Lyn Croote, Executive Director of Lambano. She gave us an overview of the organisation and some key moments and highlights of her time spent there. Lambano has been around for 16 years and it started in 2001 in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis that had hit South Africa. In her time at Lambano she was unfortunately exposed to a number of dying children. They would get a phone call from the hospital, leaving little or no time for real intervention to occur. “No one would care for kids and that is why we dedicated a lot of time and effort to the sick and dying babies”, she added.

In 2009, Lambano officially became a hospice and then in 2013 expanded their services. “Even though we have expanded our services, we are still in desperate need of bigger wards, bigger treatment wards and more capacity”, she said. Currently, in Lambano they have 16 beds which are reserved for the in-patients. When the patients go home they are then cared for by their home-based team who do visits and check-ups.

Impact Lambano has made  

The organisation is broken up into two sections; the home section and the hospice section. The home section is comprised of 28 permanent children who are HIV positive. These children have grown up in front of Lyn and it’s amazing to see how they are becoming adults and living a healthy life.

The hospice section has seen remarkable recoveries with patients who had been referred from the public sector, near death and are now much healthier and better looked after. There are much more examples Lyn made mention of, but these two aspects of recovery are what is key.

They look after 300 odd patients and there is no time limit for how long you can stay at the sanctuary. “We have no time limit for the time you can come because I believe that you cannot hurry a child’s journey of recovery”, Lyn said.

Palliative care

Palliative care opened Lyn’s mind to a whole new way of caring for patients which have proven to be extremely effective. The holistic aspect, the counsellors, the social workers, doctors and nurses all work hand in hand and it’s a form of care that she feels should be standard practice.

To find out more about Lambano Sanctuary and how you can get involved, click here.