About Footprints 4 SamFollowing 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…
- 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.
- 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:
- Mutual Respect
Sam's Key Life LessonsSome of Sam’s Key Life Lessons for health professionals caring for children with chronic illness:
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!”
Emotional Well-Being & Self-Care
Self-Care & Emotional well-being for Health Professionals is so key. You cannot care for others if you do not care for yourselves. By leaning into your patients and by truly engaging with them human to human and heart to heart, you are not only protecting yourself, but you will also improve the overall patient journey for everyone.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
Families are entitled to a second opinion. Do not take it personally.
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 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
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!
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
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.
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.'
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 (Sam's Dad)
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 (Sam's Mum)
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.
DINEO MOLEFE CA (SA)
Dineo Molefe has been the CFO of MTNSA, a subsidiary of MTN Group since November 2020.
Prior to MTNSA, she was first CFO then MD of T-Systems South Africa, part of the Deutsche Telekom Group, from 2016 to 2020. She has many years of very successful corporate career, 12 of those in executive and board level leadership roles.
As a Board member in numerous listed and unlisted entities, she possesses valuable experience of operating at a strategic level and chairing board committees. Some of the Boards and Audit Committees she has served on as an independent non-executive include Thebe Investment Corporation, Clientele Limited, Accentuate, Safripol, Road Accident Fund and Spur Corporation Limited, some of which she was chairperson of the Audit Committee.
In her career, Dineo has also owned a food and clothing retail franchise business with two business partners not long after qualifying as a CA (SA). This further added to her experience in business management, operations and financial planning and execution.
She completed her first degree at UNISA, then obtained her Honours in Accounting and later qualified as a Chartered Accountant (CA) SA in 2003. After obtaining a Masters’ Degree in International Accounting from the University of Johannesburg in 2010, she went on to complete an Advanced Management Programme from Wharton Business School, Pennsylvania in 2012.
Skills development and contributions to society
Dineo is a passionate advocate for skills development for young people and personally does coaching and mentoring. She often speaks at various events on the topics of leadership, women advancement and gender equality. She previously served as a trustee of the Thebe Foundation, which seeks to empower the community through education. She has been featured in numerous publications that profile successful women.
- Winner 2018: Gender Mainstreaming Awards - Positive Role Model.
- Winner 2020: South African Professionals Awards - Professional of the Year Award in the Digital Industry Class of the Commerce, Law and Management Category.
Kelly Robinson graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand
in 1996 with a BPharm degree, and obtained her Masters degree in
Clinical Pharmacy in 2003. She completed her internship and
community service as well as her clinical rotations at Baragwanath Hospital. She is Board Certified in Functional Medicine with the IFM in the USA, and has a Diploma in Life Coaching. Kelly has owned and managed Tyrone Pharmacy – a highly successful independent retail pharmacy - in Parkview Johannesburg for the past 21 years and has extensive experience in Community Pharmacy.
Kelly is a tireless advocate for community health and patient access to quality healthcare. In 2005 she opened a cross subsidised Community Clinic and Medical Practice, which she continues to own and manage. In 2006 Kelly took on a business partner, so that she could spend more time with her family and take on more pro-bono work. She has done extensive lecturing on Community Healthcare, Tuberculosis, and First Aid, has set up First Aid protocols and facilities at schools, businesses, and community centres in and around Johannesburg. She participates in fundraising for numerous charities. Kelly believes strongly in education, and upliftment, and is involved in mentorship and training. She is a Pharmacist Tutor, and has trained more than 15 pharmacist assistants, both level 1 and 2. She continues to train her pharmacists and run CPD courses. Kelly opened a retail shoe shop in 2014, specialising in therapeutic footwear. In 2017 she opened a medical consulting practice with 3 other Medical Professionals to offer Functional Medicine consultations.
She continues to oversee and be hands on in her businesses. Kelly is happily married to Sean, and has two sons, James (18) and Luke (15). She enjoys reading, knitting/crocheting, walking and loves to travel.
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
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.
Annual FinancialsThe Footprints 4 Sam annual financial investment report.
2021 - 2022
The Footprints 4 Sam Trust aims to achieve high standards of governance and ensure compliance with relevant legislation, regulations and voluntary codes where appropriate, to ensure the sustainability of the Trust. Footprints 4 Sam financial results for the fifth full year of operation are noteworthy and we are proud of the legacy of Sam, a remarkable child whose life and story has touched thousands of people across the world.Download Annual Report
The Footprints 4 Sam Trust aims to achieve high standards of governance and ensure compliance with relevant legislation, regulations and voluntary codes where appropriate, to ensure the sustainability of the Trust. Footprints 4 Sam financial results for the fourth full year of operation are noteworthy given the challenging economic environment.Download Annual Report
Download the 2019-2020 Annual Report Here
Sam's DonorsOur 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.
Acc Name: Footprints 4 Sam Trust | Acc: 115 855 6756 | Bank: Nedbank | Branch Code: 198765