About Stepping Stone Hospice
Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services is an independent, community-driven organisation and the first-ever service of its kind in the Greater Alberton area of Ekurhuleni.
We provide specialist palliative care to people experiencing the impact of life-limiting illness.
We aim to meet their physical, psychological, spiritual and social needs, and also support their families through this experience and bring solace to those grieving the death of a loved one.
Our palliative care is offered by a team of doctors, professional palliatively-trained nurses, therapists, social workers, spiritual counsellors and volunteers.
The now Stepping Stone Hospice Founder and CEO Tersia Burger, was confronted in 2012 with the harsh reality that her only child, 38-year old Vicky Bruce, had reached a point where medically nothing more could be done to save her life.
Vicky was born with a rare and degenerative connective tissue disorder, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a condition which led to her living a life filled with surgeries and unspeakable pain and discomfort. Despite this, Vicky was always adamant to live a full life. At 21 she got married and two sons were born from the marriage.
Despite her bravery and courage, Vicky and her family had to face the devastating news in 2012, and it was at this point that mom Tersia tried to access hospice assistance. Because the Alberton area did not have a hospice facility, Tersia eventually and through intervention of a pain management consultant, finally accessed hospice assistance from the Wits Hospice in Houghton.
Vicky’s quality of life immediately improved. Through efficient pain and symptom management, Vicky was able to spend a lot of time with her two sons and parents. She was able to watch the boys play sport and go out for milkshakes.
Two months before her death in January 2013, Vicky asked her mother to start a hospice in Alberton “so no-one will have to suffer the way I did,”
Left: Sister Siza Nkosi and Tersia Burger at the ground-breaking ceremony in March 2013.
Above: An overjoyed Tersia Burger officiating the opening of Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services on 9 October 2013.
On the 1st of January 2013, Stepping Stone Hospice started operating out of Tersia’s home in Alberton. Vicky was their first patient and also their first death. Vicky passed away on the 18th of January 2013, knowing that her dying wish had been fulfilled.
In March 2013, AMCARE Centre of Faith, Hope & Love in New Market Park, Alberton, offered to house Stepping Stone and in June 2013 construction to the three-bed In-Patient-Unit, donated by Afripanel and the Farmhouse Group of Companies, began on the premises of the AMCARE facility in New Market Park.
The official opening of Alberton’s first-ever Hospice In-Patient Unit took place on 9 October 2013.
The In-Patient-Unit has since been extended to house eight patients diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses. Our ultimate goal is to obtain our own piece of land on which we can build an In-Patient Unit big enough to also include an adolescent unit, counselling rooms and even a coffee shop. We will never give up on our dream to create a Hospice Village where patients, like the late Vicky Bruce, can live out their last days in dignity and able to spend quality time with their loved ones.