In 2005 I was asked to fill in a shift at an event in CapeTown. Little did I know that I was to meet my soul mate; someone sharing the same passion and dedication towards helping others. It was the start of a very special relationship and eventually led to the birth of Medicare EMR.
Natasha Meyeridricks was a highly decorated fire fighter from the City of Cape Town, she was the first recorded female commercial diver and possessed many qualifications in many disciplines. She had a solid heart of Gold and a love for children, especially those affected by fire.
I approached Natasha with my idea of an emergency response service in Franschhoek, as I had been doing construction in the area. It was during that period that I experienced first hand what the community of Franschhoek had come to accept as the norm, waiting from up to 6hrs for emergency assistance.
We started researching, costing and accumulating equipment together to start “MEDICARE EMR”, The birth of a fully capable membership based Emergency Medical Response Service in the heart of the Franschhoek Winelands.
On the 14 July 2006, we held our final meeting in preparations for the big launch of MEDICARE EMR, our future means in achieving our dreams. Natasha decided to spend the evening over in Franschhoek. We continued discussing plans through the night as the excitement was just too much to contain.
The following morning she departed for an event in Durbanville and minutes later I was dispatched by the SAPS to a stabbed neck in Bosbou. En route to the call I received a call from Quinton, a paramedic who was present at the meeting and involved with our plans, to inform me that I needed to get hold of Natasha as he just received a call from the Paarl SAPS regarding a colleague that was present at the meeting too who had been killed in an accident moments earlier.
I immediately contacted Natasha to inform her when the Paarl SAPS answered the call and informed me that it was the owner of the phone that was killed.
Losing control of her car and digging the nose into a ditch flipping the vehicle over against a telephone pole, killing her instantly on impact.
In this tragic freak event, I lost my partner and best friend.
This shattered me, along with all the plans and funding we had in place. The train of events that ensued was to be the most humbling experience and lessons in life I had to learn…
LIFE IS PRECIOUS, HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW
I continued to push forward slowly, bit by bit, piece by piece. The original business model and plan was now no longer possible and had to be revised. I needed to source new means to fund the project as all of that had been arranged by Natasha. I was motivated and in loving memory of Natasha I decided to go ahead with my dream, success is often achieved when one is staring at no possible solution to your situation, but yet one keeps moving forward.
On the 11 November 2006 I finally registered Medicare EMR and began planning and sourcing alternate funding, hitting one closed door after the other. The much-needed service which was to benefit the community of Franschhoek, my new home, was not getting the support I thought it might from the community, was life not that valuable? I continued pursuing my passion and achieved my dream through patience, perseverance and the support and assistance of two very generous individuals, one local and one UK swallow.
Without your support and confidence in me, Medicare EMR, the community of Franschhoek would not have had the luxury of having its very own Emergency Medical Response Service!
I will forever be grateful for your help.