Brave 7-year-old gets his dream from the Reach for a Dream Foundation

Karryn Hunt form Reach for a Dream, Ayaan Bhoopal and Carolyn Hoffe from Ivory Tree Lodge.


Ayaan Bhoopal, the brave seven-year-old boy from Buccleuch who has had five open heart surgeries, was recently awarded his dream by the Reach for a Dream Foundation.

Ayaan’s dream was to see the big five and this was made possible by the Ivory Tree Game Lodge in Pilanesberg and the foundation. Four years ago the foundation interviewed Ayaan and took a keen interest in his health, milestones, progress and well-being.

Seshma Bhoopal, Ayaand’s mother said, “Since 2015, Ayaan’s dream has been on hold due to his unpredictable health conditions. Every time that his dream was worked out Ayaan would end up in Hospital.”

She said the last few weeks have been a challenge, but after a follow-up at the hospital, his doctors were happy to send him on an experience of a lifetime.

Ayaan Bhoopal with some of the staff at Ivory Tree Game Lodge in Pilanesberg.

On 6 July, Avis arrived early in the morning with a family vehicle. Carolyn Hoffe from Ivory Tree Game Lodge and Karryn Hunt from the foundation visited the family to award Ayaan with his dream holiday to Pilanesburg to see the big five.

“A highlight for Ayaan were the balloons which set the tone of the trip to be treasured with memories of a lifetime,” said Seshma. “Ayaan is so blessed to be loved and cared for by so many lives that he has touched with his ‘heart story’.”

In addition to the open heart surgeries, Ayaan has had many other procedures and operations relating to his complex heart and lung condition.

Ayaan Bhoopal all ready for his first game drive.

“He has been off 24-hour oxygen since November last year. He is managing very well and striving to live life to the fullest, although he has a long way to meet his ultimate milestones due to his heart condition not being corrective but rather palliative.

“Ayaan’s journey is a challenge but he has happy spirit and fights every battle with a smile. Although Ayaan’s clinical health condition is fragile his appearance is of perfection.”

Seshma thanked Julia Sotirianakos from the foundation who has persevered every avenue to make Ayaan’s dream a reality. Ayaan experienced seeing the big five, game drives and enjoying nature for the first time ever.


Do you know of anyone else that had their dreams awarded? Share their stories with us on the Sandton Chronicle Facebook page.

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