The PatchSA Youth Ambassador is Huyaam Samuels
Huyaam has herself battled with a lifelong condition that causes her constant pain, dislocations or subluxations due to her rare condition-which requires daily medication. Her journey was not an easy one, with her pain being dismissed by doctors and her condition not being fully understood. Imagine seeing doctors, specialists and being told there’s nothing wrong with you or nothing can be done or a direct quote from one of the specialists she saw “I chop people up and put them back together” and as a thirteen-year-old walking out of the room with that in her mind.
It was only when Huyaam met Dr Michelle Meiring via Professor Chris Scott (Paediatric Rheumatologist), chairperson of PatchSA and also CEO of Paedspal Paediatric Palliative Care, at the age of thirteen years old, that she found a doctor/specialist who were prepared to listen to her and believe that she was indeed suffering from chronic pain.
Huyaam was a patient of Dr Meiring for six years years and ended up becoming the PatchSA Youth Ambassador due to her commitment to palliative care and the burning desire to raise awareness of palliative care and be a voice for those suffering.
She loves training 6 times a week by doing Pilates and Yoga as well as hydrotherapy with Professor Romy Parker. All her workouts are specifically planned and written out due to her medical condition which needs critical thinking and a well-trained physiotherapist who will not give up on her. She is extremely dedicated in her workout regimes as it helps her continue her daily lifestyle and control pain.
Although one may not be to see her condition or disability, it doesn’t make it any less real. She struggles with sleeping due to pain flare-ups, sometimes hospital admissions when flare ups become very bad and her whole-body spasms and her pain can be debilitating.
She is a past pupil of Livingstone High School in Claremont, Cape Town, and will be studying Psychology at the University of Cape Town from 2018, while still representing PatchSA.