International Aid For SA Rider

Lifesaving move by racing authority

KhayalethuEricJeyuHospitalKRA298

Khayalethu Eric Jeyu gives thumbs up in hospital

Exercise rider Khayalethu Eric Jeyu  was approaching a one-month holiday in his native South Africa from his job at Busan Race Park in South Korea when he began to experience severe headaches.

During April, the pain grew daily for a couple of weeks until Jeyu, known as Eric to his co-workers, could no longer cope. A Korean Racing Authority ambulance at the racetrack rushed Jeyu to the hospital where an MRI examination revealed a six-centimeter tumor in the back of his head and two other tumors in different locations. If he had not gone to the hospital and had boarded a plane for South Africa instead, doctors told him he may not have survived the flight. As it was, Jeyu required emergency surgery. With it, even under the hospital’s care, he was not likely to live past a week.

Brain surgery is very expensive and something a racetracker like Jeyu could not afford. He is one of 11 foreign riders, almost all of them from South Africa or Zimbabwe, working at the KRA’s Busan Race Park.

Jeyu provides most of the financial support for a large family—his parents, wife, and three children. The KRA has courted workers like Jeyu because of his 20 years of experience in horse racing, and Jeyu was attracted to South Korea because of its good working conditions and better pay. He began working at Busan in March 2010.

Now Jeyu, 42, faced losing it all.

The KRA, the sole racing authority in South Korea, supports community charities as part of its mission so it immediately stepped up to help one of its own. The racing authority agreed to pay for Jeyu’s surgery.

The same day as his diagnosis, Jeyu was scheduled for surgery. During five hours on the operating table, doctors successfully removed all the tumors in Jeyu’s brain. The rider spent five days in the intensive care unit and required another month in the hospital.

Recognizing the financial burden  Jeyu would face with additional hospital bills and no income to send back home, racetrack executives and employees started a fundraising campaign that collected more than $11,700 on the rider’s behalf. The money raised has covered all medical expenses and provided enough left over to continue providing support to his family back home.

“I am feeling much better and will return next week to South Africa where I will spend time with my family and hopefully I will soon be fully recovered,” Jeyu said. “It was a very worrying time for my wife and children also, and so on behalf of myself and my family, we thank the trainers, jockeys, stable staff, and all of the KRA staff very much.

“Your kindness, and generosity that you gave to me in my time of need, is something that touched me deeply and you will be in my heart forever. You came together and helped me out as one of your family,” he said.

Have Your Say - *Please Use Your Name & Surname

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages readers to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that the Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their actual name and surname – no anonymous posts or use of pseudonyms will be accepted. You can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the EditorThe Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

Please note that the views that are published are not necessarily those of the Sporting Post.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Share:

Facebook
WhatsApp
Twitter

Popular Posts

Birth Of A Stud – And A Flying Start!

‘We don’t view our investment in the 140 ha new farm as a vanity project. It’s a serious attempt to run a successful enterprise on business principles, focused on the aim of producing top end Graded Stakes winners.’

Read More »