Caldin Andrew Castle

My name is Caldin Castle and I am 17 years old. I have been very privileged and honoured to have been donated a pacemaker and also the continuity of my life by the Revived Pulse Foundation.

I have needed a pacemaker since the age of 9 months. I underwent 3 surgeries that I can remember and the last one, during 2013, was an emergency, which didn’t go well because of the lack of planning from my parents’ side.

I had to be rushed to the Red Cross Children’s hospital in Cape Town by aeroplane and I had to stay in the hospital for a few weeks. Since then I have hoped that it would never happen to me again because as an 11 year old it was a scary incident and I would hate to have that happen again or to anyone else.

After a few years I moved in with my uncle and he has already done so much for me and that’s when my granny found out about Revived Pulse. They gladly donated my pacemaker, which helped an awful lot with making the surgery go smoothly. The doctors and nurses were so helpful and kind I knew that they just wanted the best for me. I want to thank Dr Sanjay Maharaj, my heart surgeon, and the staff at the MediClinic Pietermaritzburg.

There was only one thing bothering me about this surgery and that was having surgery during a global pandemic, but as soon as I got to the hospital I knew I was in a safe area, maybe even the safest place to be.

During this latest surgery I was feeling very confident that nothing bad could go wrong and nothing did – all thanks to the great planning that went into it. I was only in the hospital for three days and then I was ready to go back home. My recovery went very smoothly and I can now do my hobbies and go to friends and have fun.

I am so grateful towards the Revived Pulse Foundation for their donation and I surely will never forget how they changed my life.

Darryll Castle (Caldin’s uncle) added to Caldin’s story:

Caldin is my nephew, the son of my late brother Wayne. He has a sister, Holly who is older than him. Wayne died about 10 years ago. He was born with many medical complexities, mainly born without a food pipe, as I understand it. He spent many of his early years in hospital at Grote Schuur as a medical test case. In any case, other than being small in stature he lived a healthy ordinary life, albeit always having complexities. In the end these caught up with him and he died one night in his sleep.

Wayne was an avid surfer, and lived his life accordingly in Jeffries Bay. He made a living making surfboards and was a well known personality in those circles. However it was not particularly lucrative and although they had enough money to survive, there was not much left for emergencies and unplanned life events.

His wife at the time remarried soon after his death. My mom and I did our best financially and otherwise to ensure the children were looked after, but the relationship did deteriorate with his wife once she had remarried. At some point however in 2015 I got a call from Holly regarding allegations her and Caldin had regarding abuse in the home. My wife and I assisted and Holly and Caldin came to live with us while a criminal case progressed.

I have looked after them since. Although the court case was inconclusive their mother effectively distanced herself from them and has not supported them in any way. Caldin and Holly went to school in Centurion and spent holidays with their Granny in Howick. My mom, Anita, has always helped in terms of making sure Caldin is looked after in terms of his pacemaker etc. Due to their preexisting conditions and the fact that I have not been able to become their guardian officially, Caldin is not on medical aid. Therefore your assistance regarding the latest procedure really assists in making the costs affordable.