Movie night with big-wave surfer

Greg Bertish, from The Little Optimists Trust, is pictured with little Maitland Cottage patient Buhle Mxaka.

Big-wave surfer, charity campaigner and multiple cardiac-surgery survivor Greg Bertish had a movie night for the children of Maitland Cottage Hospital in Newlands on Tuesday night.

Young patients in beds and wheelchairs were “driven in” to a ward set aside for the movie night, which featured a documentary of Mr Bertish’s incredible 200km voyage in the Little Optimist and his personal journey to overcome health scares.

The hospital also received support from businesses in the form of donations of money, pizza and drinks.

Mr Bertish, who himself spent more than 200 days in hospital, said that he hoped that his story would inspire Maitland Cottage’s patients and give them confidence to overcome whatever life threw at them.

“These kids face tough operations and uncertainty. I hope to show them that sick people can still go on to achieve amazing things,” he said.

“It was an amazing experience for the children ,such an entertaining break in routine hospital life for them,” said hospital administrator Fiona Kunz.

Mr Bertish has previously raised funds for the hospital where he assisted with renovations and organised the painting of a Little Optimist mural in May.

Mr Bertish will be taking the project further with his Great Optimist Race at the Cape Town International Boat Show in October, when celebrities and regular sailors will participate in a Little Optimist race to raise money for several causes.