Teen afforded a life-changing opportunity

Teen afforded a life-changing opportunity

A young teen injured his knee and was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. Life became difficult, but The Big Favour stepped in to makes things easier.

Samkelo Mzobe / Supplied
Samkelo Mzobe / Supplied

Listen to the full podcast and read the details below: 

I received a mail from Vernon O’Connell to tell me about a super special young man he’d met. Samkelo Mzobe, a 16-year-old Amanzimtoti teen, had slipped on the stairs at school in September and injured his knee.

He was in constant pain and, after further tests, he was diagnosed with high-grade osteosarcoma.

Almost immediately, Sam had to have an above-knee amputation.

After a CT and MRI scan, the doctors confirmed that the cancer had spread to his lungs.

Despite the challenges he faces on a daily basis, he is without doubt one of the most positive people we've ever met.

Sam is a young man who loves school - but at the moment, he’s at home, with no laptop or data, unable to do his homework or keep in touch with his friends.

He also has to follow a special diet, but even buying the very basics like bread and milk are a challenge for his mom, Zanele. Money is tight and every day is a massive struggle.

Sam’s single mom is battling to cope – not only with the huge emotional strain, but with groceries and her daily living expenses.

As soon as we heard Sam’s story – we knew we needed to help.


Furquaan Khamissa Medical orthotist and Prosthetists specialise in the design and manufacture of custom orthotics and prosthetics, as well as the supply of ready-made orthotics. They strive to provide the best in product and service, and will make every effort to cater to all of their patients' needs. 

They are based at the Ahmed Al Kadi Private Hospital Medical Suites.

The first step is to meet with Sam, and Furquaan and Faeem have offered to give Sam a full assessment, free of charge.

Their goal and objectives are to get Sam back to his day-to-day activities and way of life prior to amputation, and although there are certain criteria that have to be met for this to happen, once the evaluation is complete, Furquaan and Faeem will be able to make a decision on the way forward.

Since having his amputation, Sam has been battling to use the bathroom. He’s unable to get into a bath and has a constant fear of slipping or falling.

When I called Doosh Ramouthar, the Director of Ganga Plumbers, to tell him Sam’s story, without hesitation he said that he and his team would design and install a wet room for Sam, with a walk-in shower and grab rails to allow Sam easy and safe access to his bathroom, without having to worry about slipping or falling.

ganga plumbers

Vernon O’Connell and his team at the office, together with SSA Maintenance, also jumped on board, committing to giving any extras the bathroom may need. Whether that’s nonslip tiles or shower taps.


When Christine and Thiloshni from Vodacom heard Sam’s story, they too immediately offered to help.

They handed over a brand new Mecer Laptop, a new Vodacom Modem along with a connected sim and data to a delighted Sam. To help him get stronger, they also donated a year’s supply of Future Life, along with groceries, toiletries, and mattresses for the family to use.

Vodacom also loaded e-school onto Sam’s laptop, which allows him to access his school curriculum content and is zero-rated, so it’s free with his Vodacom sim.


When Nondz Beach Massage Experience heard about the story, they wanted to spoil Sam’s mom, as well as Heather Tait and Joanne Feasey, who assist with Sam’s fundraising.

Zanele, Heather, and Joanne will soon be enjoying a relaxing full body massage from the Nondz Beach Massage Team.

Nondz beach massage

Thank you to the wonderful sponsors below who made today’s Big Favour a reality.

Furquaan Khamissa Medical orthotist and Prosthetist

Ahmed Al Kadi Private Hospital Medical Suites 

Annex 3, Suite 2, First floor 

Corner 24 Barnard and Elsie Road, Sherwood, Durban 

Tel: 031 492 3487 Furqaan: 083 279 2169 Faheem: 081 462 0160 
[email protected] 
Instagram @furqaankhamissa

Ganga Plumbers is a proudly South African company and was established in the year 2000.  They have now grown into a 24-hour operation with 20 fully equipped plumbers to render the required service with world-class workmanship. They pride themselves on providing excellent service and after-sales back up.  They are equipped with world-class machinery and tools that solve all plumbing related issues.  

Doosh Ramouthar is a third-generation plumber who worked as a teenager with his grandfather in the trenches and studied analytical chemistry, graduating with a higher diploma.  Whilst doing odd plumbing jobs to pay for his studies he realized his passion for plumbing. He then changed faculties and studied advanced plumbing at Swinton Technicon, henceforth opening Ganga Plumbers.  Ganga Plumbers was established as a one man operation.

Ganga Plumbers prides itself on an ongoing commitment to safety, quality, service and continued growth.  They are licensed, registered and insured and believe that professionalism in the industry is first and foremost.

19 Chelsea Ave, New Germany Industrial Park, New Germany, 3610

Open 24 hours

Tel: 031 262 6871

Vernon O’Connell and his team have been in the legal business for the past 30+ years in Durban. They cover a lot of insurance and cyber law. The VOC Foundation is an initiative funded by voluntary contributions from their staff members which they then match at 200%. They obviously can't help everybody but any team member who comes across a particularly deserving case is entitled to put a proposal to the foundation for funding. Over the years they’ve been fortunate enough to be able to help numerous community members in need. This has included people suffering from cancer, small children in institutions, a lady who lost all of her possessions in a fire and they’ve regularly supported CHOC (Children's Haematology Oncology Clinics)

Contact VOC Attorneys 
Tel: (031) 368 9960



SSA Maintenance
Tel: 079 7457163

[email protected]

Nonds Beach Massage Experience


Email: [email protected]
Facebook: NondzBeachMassageExperience

Tel: 083 476 0533

Since hearing about Sam’s Big Favour, one of Vernon O’Connell’s clients, a major Computing company (who want to remain anonymous) have come on board and donated R5000 to Sam’s Medical Fund.

If you would like to donate to Sam’s Medical fund: 
Mrs VL Jensen
Capitec Bank
Account Number: 162 454 1699

Branch Code: 470010
Swift Code: CABLZAJJ

If you would like to assist Sam’s Mother, Zanele:
Z Mzobe
Capitec Bank

Account Number:  1233 501 664

For any further queries or info on how to assist Sam, please contact:
Heather: [email protected]

082 903 6668 or Roxi - 082 523 9025

Also read: Bringing smiles to Marcel's life

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