Who We Are

About Footprints 4 Sam

About Footprints 4 Sam

Following Sam’s death, Fred and Melissa wanted Sam’s healthcare journey, which was far from perfect, to offer change, hope, dignity, mutual respect and connectedness for other children and families in similar situations. This was the start of Footprints 4 Sam.

The Trust fulfils this dream through a few simple initiatives aimed at serving underprivileged children and their families as each day they face the difficult journey of living with a life limiting condition. These complex conditions are often burdensome to the family and the Trust’s 6 key initiatives offer something tangible and beautiful in the midst of much pain and suffering.

It is our mission to leave Footprints of change in neonatal and paediatric wards countrywide, through the cultivation of a healthcare culture of swift and broad-based intervention, early diagnosis and real and achievable family centred solutions, which promote excellence of life for both child and family. Changing lives one footprint at a time…

Our Passion.

  • To ensure that no other child or family goes through what Sam went through.
  • For parents to never feel alone and for families and children to have quality of life throughout their care journey.
  • To ensure that no child is ill alone or dies alone.
  • To ensure that families and children remain connected and supported during their hospital journey.
  • To get children home.
  • To see children and families smile despite facing the burden of a complex condition.
  • To ensure that underprivileged families are supported.
  • To build the Samuel Generation of Healthcare in South Africa - putting the H (i.e., The Human), back into healthcare.

Our Target.

  • Underprivileged babies and children with life-limiting illnesses.
  • Underprivileged long-stay babies and children in NICU and PICU with breathing complications and/or rare diseases.
  • Healthcare fraternity through advocacy in the public and private paediatric healthcare sector.

Areas of Focus.

Simple and tangible initiatives aiming to encourage:

  • Connectedness
  • Mutual Respect
  • Dignity
  • Hope
  • Change

Sam's Key Life Lessons

Some of Sam’s Key Life Lessons for health professionals caring for children with chronic illness:
F4S Holistic Treatment

Holistic treatment

Treat the whole child not just the symptoms. Sam says: “I am Sam. I am not just the sum total of my symptoms. I AM SAM!”

F4S We are Human

We are human

A child is a person, a human first and foremost and so are you. Always offer hope and always respect the child and family’s dignity.

Family support

Family support

Chronic illness impacts on the whole family. Check - how are they coping? Are they supported? Are they empowered? Have you allowed their voice to be heard?

Excellence of care

Excellence of care

As doctors and health professionals, work as a team. An integrated multi-disciplinary team caring for a patient holistically = excellence of care.

It is human to err

It is human to err

Health professionals can be wrong and can say that they do not know. This is not failure. This is being human and we applaud you. It is human to err.

Say you're sorry

Say you're sorry

IT IS OKAY to say you are sorry. In this way you will save families from much guilt, grief and heartbreak. In fact saying you are sorry may even be the simple answer to many medical-legal woes.

Relay of excellence

Relay of excellence

Subscribe to a “Relay of Excellence”. Pass on the baton when you don’t know. There are many other specialists who can and will help.

Second opinions

Second opinions

Families are entitled to a second opinion. Do not take it personally.

It's not about you

It's not about you

ALWAYS do what is best for the child and family. Empathetic healthcare and egos do not mix well, so rather try and leave egos out of healthcare all together.

Questions

Questions

Questions from families are just questions. They are not being “difficult". They do not, not trust you. They are simply scared and seeking answers. Mutual respect and good communication is key. "Never stop listening and learning" says Sam…

Life beyond restrictions

Life beyond restrictions

Sam never went outside except for when transferred between hospitals. Children must be allowed to play, to breathe fresh air and to LIVE despite their restrictions. ICU is not a home for children. Seek ways to let a child be a child!

Transition home

Transition home

Get a child home as soon as possible. We have compiled a Parent’s Survival Guide for ICU to ensure that parents are better equipped and supported when facing the scary roller coaster of months in hospital and the transition home.

Support throughout a lifetime

Support throughout a lifetime

When a complex illness is recognised, (since diagnosis can take months or even years with some children remaining undiagnosed), bring in a holistic team approach, as provided by a Palliative Care Team. Paediatric Palliative Care (PPC) is about supporting quality of life throughout a child’s lifetime, which can be many years. Let’s bust the myth that PPC is just for end of life care, since this could not be further from the truth. PPC is about supporting paediatric patients to live WELL and so must happen on recognition of a chronic illness and not left until a child is critical and dying.

Be kind

Be kind

And, above all, says Sam: 'BE KIND. Your words are written on our hearts forever.'
And words from my Mum and Dad: 'You get a do-over. Sadly, as parents, we never will.'

Sam's Team

The Footprints 4 Sam Trust aims to achieve its objectives in a sustainable manner to ensure a perpetual legacy is created in memory of Sam. The Trust was created to benefit previously disadvantaged children suffering from life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and to help provide tangible, simple and constructive initiatives, palliative care and advocacy for these children.

Fred Platt

Fred Platt (Sam's Dad)Footprints 4 Sam Trustee

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FRED PLATT (Sam's Dad)
Trustee

Fred, Melissa’s husband and Sam’s Dad, has a Bachelor of Arts from Wits University and a Master of Business Administration from Brunel University. Fred, began his career in human resources management in 1990 at Fram Footwear (a division of Conshu Holdings Limited) and progressed to HR director. He represented Conshu on the South African Breweries human resources committee before joining Safic in 1997. He moved rapidly through the corporate ranks serving as operations director in 1998, managing director in 2000 and finally group managing director for Safic in 2003. His vision for the organisation facilitated the strategic acquisition of Marley Flooring in 2004 and the consolidation of the various companies into Accéntuate Limited, which culminated in the listing on the AltX of the JSE in 2006. Fred serves on the board of several companies and charities and is a member of the Institute of Directors. His passion around healthcare started with the building of a hospital, and was compounded after spending fifteen and half months at Sam’s ICU bedside.

Melissa Platt

Melissa Platt (Sam's Mum)Footprints 4 Sam Trustee

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MELISSA PLATT (Sam's Mum)
Trustee

Melissa is Fred’s wife, Sam’s Mum and a bereaved parent. She is also a palliative coach and a professional consultant now strategically focused on the paediatric healthcare sector. Melissa obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Palliative Medicine at UCT (2017, graduating with distinction), a coaching qualification at the Centre of Coaching at UCT Business School (2015), and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Rhodes University (1993). Melissa is passionate about patient and child advocacy, and family-centred healthcare. She is a co-founder of Footprints4Sam. Melissa's senior management experience has been in heading up teams in sales, marketing and business development for many years. Her consulting, coaching and advocacy work has inspired positive growth, resilience and change in the families, individuals and teams. She has worked with both in the healthcare environment, as well as in the commercial sector.

Liesel Green

Liesel GreenFootprints 4 Sam Trustee

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LIESEL GREEN
Trustee

Liesel graduated from the Wits University in 1991 with Bachelor of Commerce and honours in Economics. She was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1997. After leaving University Liesel joined Ivor Jones Roy & Co in 1991 where she worked in various roles including financial control, marketing and equity analysis. During this time Ivor Jones Roy was acquired by Deutsche Bank and Liesel was appointed as a director of the business. In 1998 Liesel moved to Deutsche Morgan Grenfell Portfolio Managers where she worked as a portfolio manager responsible for private client and Unit Trust portfolios. Liesel left the industry in 2001 to focus on raising her children. Since that time she has been actively involved in several entrepreneurial ventures as well as serving as a trustee of other trusts. As Sam’s Godmother and a close friend of Fred and Melissa she is excited to be part of Sam’s legacy.

Timothy May

Timothy MayFootprints 4 Sam Trustee

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TIMOTHY MAY
Trustee

After arriving in South Africa from England in 1974, Tim worked advising on Equity and Property investment for The Union Corporation. In 1977 he joined Anglo American Insurance Group as an Equity Portfolio Manager, and in 1980 became Equity Manager at Federated Life. From 1993 he worked independently with an FSB approved private client Fund Manager and joined Standard Bank in 1997, managing client portfolios until 2017. During this period he advised several Charitable Portfolios, and raised funds for making substantial improvements to a rundown high school in Limpopo. He was fortunate to assist in finding funds to improve matters at a children's home outside Johannesburg and was thrilled to become associated with Footprints 4 Sam in 2017, when asked to be an independent trustee.

Mitch Morrison

Mitch MorrisonFootprints 4 Sam Trustee

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MITCH MORRISON
Trustee

After completing his articles, Mitchell immediately co-founded the firm, Fullard Mayer Morrison Inc., together with William Fullard and Richard Mayer in 1999. He is one of the original directors in this firm. Mitchell has built up a substantial commercial practice with a special focus on the areas of Mergers and Acquisitions, Commercial Agreements, Corporate Law and Competition Law. He advises a broad range of clients, from JSE listed companies to medium sized businesses, to industry associations. Mitchell also provides practical commercial advice in the areas of Taxation and Regulatory Compliance. Mitchell is a registered tax practitioner. He is able to offer commercial experience tailored to suit the needs of large and small enterprises as well as new commercial ventures. In addition to strong technical legal ability, Mitchell is highly numerate and has training in accounting and financial management. Having majored in Economics, he has built up his commercial practice and experience off a sound financial platform. Mitchell has practical experience in reading and interpreting annual financial statements and integrated reports of companies. As such, Mitchell’s clients often seek commercial and strategic advice and input from him in addition to legal advice. He is also a co-founder and trustee of the Tshepo Trust, a charitable educational trust (also having PBO (s10(1)(c)(n) status) addressing the needs of underprivileged, promising and deserving individuals furthering their tertiary education. Mitchell, himself a father of two, has great admiration for Fred and Melissa and what they have achieved and how they choose to honour their son. I am grateful to be a very small part of their journey and to apply some of my legal skills in a meaningful way.

Sophié-Marié van Garderen

Sophié-Marié van GarderenFootprints 4 Sam Trustee

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SOPHIÉ-MARIÉ VAN GARDEREN
Trustee

Sophie Marie graduated with a Masters of Commerce and has been awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1999 . She began her career at RMB Asset Management as a junior analyst and worked her way up to fulfilling the role of senior investment professional, doing equity research and co-managing various unit trusts. During this time, these funds won a number of awards. After moving to Cape Town she joined Argon Asset Management, where she served a dual role as both equity analyst and co-manager of all the equity funds under management. More recently she joined Truffle Asset Management in a similar capacity. Sophie has been a friend of Sam’s parents for many years, and has a keen interest in helping kids in need.

Sam's Donors

Our donors are integral in helping us to change lives. We are so grateful for the trust they place in us and we recognise and celebrate their commitment and support.
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Acc Name: Footprints 4 Sam Trust | Acc: 115 855 6756 | Bank: Nedbank | Branch Code: 198765