Dr. Sarah Whitehead
Sarah is a medical doctor and is a person with a physical disability. She qualified with an MBChB from the University of Cape Town in 2010. In her final two years of her medical degree her mobility impairment and subsequent disability began to manifest. This meant that Sarah graduated and started working armed with the unique knowledge of what it is like to be both a disabled patient and doctor. During her community service year at Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre (for the rehabilitation of physically disabled individuals), she discovered her passion and enthusiasm for physical rehabilitation medicine. She realized how her own disability provides her with a level of empathy, enabling her to develop an instant and meaningful connection with her patients. She has worked exclusively in physical rehabilitation since then. Because of her unique position and voice within society, she has taken on a Disability Rights advocacy role. During her work in in-hospital physical rehabilitation medicine, she became increasingly aware of the challenge physical disabled people face when they leave the supportive environment of inpatient rehabilitation and have to now piece their domestic lives back together with little or no support. This awareness caused the idea to develop, of creating a stepping-stone between in-hospital rehabilitation and someone’s return to living as full a life as possible. Her work in The Cape Amputee Clinic with fellow co-director Jayson Chin, helped to crystalize this idea, which led to the formation of Zimele.
Jayson is an orthotist and prosthetist. He studied Medical Orthotics and Prosthetics at Pretoria Technikon and qualified in 1995. Jayson established his private practise in 1999 and has been actively involved in the profession ever since. He is passionate about his profession and extremely committed to providing the highest level of care to all his orthotic and prosthetic patients.
Jayson has a special interest in comprehensive amputee rehabilitation and prosthetic management. He co-founded the Cape Amputee Clinic in 2007 and has chaired this free bimonthly clinical team meeting since its inception. The interdisciplinary clinical team provides information, guidance and advice to ensure that the process of amputee rehabilitation is addressed from all the various perspectives, as amputation affects the individual and their family on so many levels. The amputation clinic team members are a; medical doctor, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, psychologist and prosthetist.
Jayson’s passion and desire to provide comprehensive physical rehabilitation to all those in need, is what motivated him to co-found Zimele, and to reproduce what The Cape Amputee Clinic has been doing for over a decade but with a bigger reach into society.
Rodney is a director in the company Africa Stereos (a graphic design and printing company) and is a bilateral amputee. As a result of a car accident in 2014, both he and his wife lost their legs. Rodney is a very positive, enthusiastic person and faced the challenge of his rehabilitation journey with the same positivism and enthusiasm. His rehabilitation showed him just how important it is that all aspects of an individual’s life are addressed in their rehabilitation journey. He felt fortunate to be able to access the resources that he and his wife needed for their rehabilitation. He also became acutely aware that many people are not as fortunate as he was. This awareness coupled with a personal understanding of the daily challenges that people with disabilities face, strengthened his resolve to become actively involved in supporting and advocating for the disabled community (amputees in particular) in any way that he can.