Breatheasy Team

Margaux Doe - Dietician (BsCHons Dietetics UWC; RD SA)

“I am passionate about children’s health and nutrition and am always willing to go the extra mile for my patients.”

Margaux assesses her patients’ nutritional status on admission in order to plan their diet in terms of nutritional value and ease of intake. She continues to monitor their progress with weight and health checks when they attend their follow-up visits after discharge.

Lezanne Le Roux – Speech-Language Therapy (BSc Speech Therapy and Audiology)

“We advocate the holistic treatment of the child and all work towards giving our little patients an ability to express themselves in every way possible, developing in tandem an ability in their caregivers to understand them and encourage their development at home.”
Lezanne’s role is essential as she begins with the assessment of sucking and swallowing that are precursors to speech development. She designs her interventions to optimise the safest way of feeding in the short term, as well as to develop speech in the long term. This can include augmentative and alternative forms of communication when necessary, as well as introducing a speaking valve with the ultimate aim of decannulation. Lezanne is currently completing an Msc in Speech-language Pathology.

Janine Victor– Physiotherapist (BsC Hons Physiotherapy UCT)

“We partner with the family as the main long-term provider of physiotherapy management and give them the understanding of their child’s individual needs and the skills to work towards realistic short and long-term treatment goals.”

Janine assesses each child’s developmental progress, functional ability and pulmonary function in order to design specific treatments that include techniques to assist with airway clearance, improve aeration of the lung fields, as well as to increase breathing and thoracic mobility and exercise tolerance. Neuro-developmental therapy includes facilitation and positioning of normal movement patterns. Rehabilitation includes gross and fine motor skills, balance, coordination, strength and endurance. Specialist seating needs are available to the children who require mobility assistive devices and will be followed up at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital outpatient physiotherapy service, as well as referred to their nearest community physiotherapist.

Tamar Koekoemoer - Occupational Therapist (BScM Occupational Therapy)

“My approach to Occupational Therapy is based on my experience of the impact that chronic illness has on a child’s development and their ability to participate in everyday life, including the social impact."

Tamar encourages children to become more independent in their activities of daily living and self-care. She works directly with her patients to provide physical support in terms of constructing splints to maintain and improve range of movement, uses play therapy to treat developmental delays, organises seating in the form of wheelchairs and buggies. Her work with parents through orientation and information groups as well as her regular training of nurses on child positioning and neurodevelopmental care all support a child-centered, family- and team based approach.

Dr Aneesa Vanker - Paediatric Pulmonologist (MBCHB UKZN; FC Paed SA; MMed SU; Certificate Pulmonology Paeds)

Dr. Vanker came to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital from Tygerberg Children’s Hospital with a special interest in the tracheostomy home-care programme. Her academic interests include chronic lung disease in children, infectious causes of lung disease and the effect of air pollution and tobacco smoke on the lung health of children. She is a consultant on the Pulmonology team.

Janice Cozett - Social Worker (BA Social Work UWC)

“I am the newest in the team as I only started at Red Cross Hospital in March 2012. My role in the team is to render supportive services to the parents of our children. I conduct a psychosocial assessment on the induction of the family into the Breatheasy Programme. On Wednesdays, I facilitate a support group with those parents in the ward. The work has been so rewarding because I can see them gain understanding, hope and confidence with every passing day.”

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