Ed. — Frans is well known to John Firth. John personally commissioned Frans to create this year’s visually captivating comic-art series on various game animals to be encountered at Hillcrest Game Estates. At the end of this article, we feature the full series of Frans’ amazing works of comic-art which was published in this year’s Autumn, Winter and Spring editions of the Hillcrest Game Estates Newsletter. God-willing, once Frans is back to full health, we hope to feature more of his thought-provoking, visually captivating comic-art. In the meanwhile though, the editorial team wishes Frans the speediest of recoveries—In our thoughts and prayers too.
About the author: Pastor Ludwig Alberts pastors a congregation at Crossword Church in Somerset West. Ed. Frans Groenewald is a council member and Minister’s Warden at this church.
At 8am on the 1st of October 2018 while we were having coffee at The Farm House in Somerset West, Frans Groenewald suffered a severe stroke owing to a blockage of his left carotid artery going to the left side of the brain. The first sign was that he could not speak clearly and struggled to pronounce certain words. We quickly did the first 3 aspects of the F.A.S.T. stroke test (Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties and Time to call emergency services). Realising Frans’ condition was serious, we skipped the T-part of the stroke test and immediately rushed Frans to Vergelegen Mediclinic.
Like with all strokes it is very difficult to give a definitive prognosis for recovery, but due to the “size” of this one and after the failure of a stent operation in the left carotid artery, the doctors where very hesitant to be positive. Frans was released from ICU and after a couple of days he was released to SpesCare (a facility that specialises in stroke recovery).
Unfortunately within a day he developed blood clots in his lungs and was rushed back to hospital for a further two weeks in ICU. Thereafter, Frans was again released to SpesCare where he remained for the month of November. and have made such recovery to the point where is now at home with the need to visit the SpesCare unit twice a week for further rehabilitation sessions.
Frans’ current condition—State of health and recovery steady but slow
Frans can walk and use the right side of his body as well as his arm and hand increasingly. He is fully aware of where he is and can understand and follow conversations. His speech is still greatly affected and struggles to follow complicated instructions. But he progresses daily.
Frans is a Jesus Christ Follower and an active member of CrossWord Church in Somerset West. With various forms of support and prayer, the congregation and many of Frans’ friends (and clients) rallied around him—inclusive of his wife Grace and their two sons who’ve been receiving much support and prayer too. God has been very gracious to Frans, giving him a positive outlook and earnest ability to accept the misfortune that has befallen him. After the initial shock and trauma passed, Frans has been “impatient” in a positive sense—He want to recover as much as possible every day.
It’s a true wonder that God has blessed Frans with Grace Groenewald, his truly amazing and supportive wife. Moreover, Frans’ recovery is being attended to by an incredible medical team: a physiotherapist, a speech-therapist and an occupational therapist. These specialists are true “miracle workers.” They are “teaching” Frans’ brain to “take over” the affected areas, literally resulting in Frans’ health improving on a daily basis.
There’s still long road ahead though: The fullest extent of Frans’ healing and recovery is “almost impossible to predict.” Nonetheless, we all continue to pray for Frans. Your prayers and support will be received with thanksgiving and appreciation. There is much light at the end of the tunnel for Frans and his family. God is at work!
For your viewing pleasure, see (below) Frans’ full collection of comic-art.
Ed. — Thank you Frans, we love your work!