I could fill a library with stories about people I have worked with. Some narratives are hilarious, some infuriating, some downright heartbreaking and others will serve as a cautionary tale and keep you out of jail, hospital or the morgue, I suppose. But this is not about my story. This is Leonard’s.


I met Leonard quite a few years ago when we hired him to do our sound for a Carols in the park event over Christmas. He is tall, milk chocolate brown with chiseled features and an easy smile. We employed him as a maintenance manager, but he is so much more than that. He learnt to be a carer just so he could understand what our team goes through from an emotional perspective. He also has a pastoral role here with both staff and patients, and he has comfortably stepped into an overall leadership role and helps me shoulder some of the burdens which I cannot carry alone. All in all, Leonard is an irreplicable member of this family whom we absolutely adore, and this is his story to recovery…




“The sun had just set, and everything seemed okay. I was yet to begin the journey back to my family after a day of house maintenance work at our holiday cottage. My motorbike, a 125cc, would be fast enough to comfortably ride back to our residence where my wife and daughter awaited. Little did I know that a near-death experience also awaited.


Today, as I reflect on my journey, I am reminded of the profound impact of medical help – not just in alleviating physical symptoms, but in nurturing the spirit, fostering resilience, and igniting hope. My journey is but one thread in the rich tapestry of human experience, yet it serves as a reminder that amidst life’s trials, there is always the possibility of transformation and renewal.


My biggest discovery was that we still have good people out there. In less than a minute after crashing into a stationary vehicle (which was parked right in the middle of the road), I saw a lady standing right next to me, asking if I could hear her. She looked very worried, but I was a bit confused and wasn’t sure what had just transpired. After introducing herself and notifying me of what had just happened, I eventually managed to give her my wife’s cell number, and she quickly notified her.


A few minutes later, my wife, Alice, along with her sisters and our neighbour arrived and quickly took me to hospital. It was at the hospital that I saw I had sustained deep cuts on my right leg. You could literally see the bone, but thank goodness, there wasn’t any fracture. It took doctors a few hours to stitch those big cuts and I am so grateful, because they did it so professionally.


Today, as I gaze upon the sleek silhouette of my motorbike, I am filled with a sense of gratitude for the experiences that have shaped me, for the challenges that have strengthened me, and for the boundless possibilities that lie ahead. 

My body still hasn’t fully healed, but I am on the road to recovery. This journey has been made bearable by Ann and her team, Ann owns a step-down facility called Sunninghill Recovery Lodge which forms part of the Hospitality Lodges for where I am one of her employees. We have had a long friendship with Ann but this time, it only makes sense to see her as family. As my wife was phoning around notifying family and friends about the accident, one of those people she messaged was Ann. Immediately, Mrs McKerrell offered me a room at her recovery lodge. The room came with three meals a day, prepared by her professional chef. Hats off to Chef Dylan for the amazing food that I enjoyed during my stay at Sunninghill Recovery Lodge. I had 24-hour care from an awesome team of professional caregivers. My room had a TV with Netflix, Youtube and DSTV, and a beautiful bathroom specially designed to allow a wheelchair or anyone on crutches. The bed was super comfortable. Next to my bed I had a remote buzzer which allowed me to call for help anytime. All the above came at an amount of Zero…  As part of the Hospitality Lodge family, I was offered a place to recover with all those benefits for free.


That is why I said earlier that we still have good people out there. There is no way I could ever have afforded to be taken care of by professionals if it had not come for free. This gave my pregnant wife a huge relief, and here is the cherry on top…  Alice stayed at Sunninghill Recovery lodge for 4 days. We both received meals. Words cannot do justice to how much I appreciate what Ann did for me. My family is in awe of your generosity – thank you for making my journey to recovery bearable. 


As the scars begin to fade and the pain gradually recedes, I emerge from the crucible of adversity with a newfound appreciation for life’s precious moments. Every sunrise, every gentle breeze upon my skin, serves as a poignant reminder of the resilience that resides within us all – a testament to the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.”