Hi, I’m Tina
Hope Discoverer | Path Finder | Mentor | Motivator | Goal Getter | Surgery Guru | Speaker | Life Achiever | Friend | Listener | Tea Drinker | Note Maker | Transplant Survivor
I’m also a life coach for women who are stuck, unmotivated, unsure of their next step or who are fearful about upcoming surgery or battling to adjust and recover after surgery. I help women navigate difficult situations and get them where they’ve always wanted to be in life!
So that they can live authentically while having the freedom to make a difference in a way they feel will impact those around them in a positive way.
I do all of this from my home in sunny South Africa! No, I don’t have elephants or lions in my back yard, but I do get to see our diverse wildlife regularly.
I’m also an inspirational speaker and enjoy sharing my story, tips, tricks and techniques through my international talks and workshops!
Born with 3 holes in her heart, a missing tricuspid valve, an irregular & fast heartbeat, narrowed arteries between the heart and lungs and Pulmonary Hypertension; Tina B’s chance of survival was minimal. As a child she would get tired and out of breath very quickly, especially when trying to join in with physical activity. From age 12, she had to sit out on physical activity all together.
At the age of 14 Tina B suffered heart failure and collapsed. She was rushed to Hospital and resuscitated. The heart had been working so hard and grown so large that the cells that carry the electric impulses to make the heart beat had stretched too much to be able to carry an impulse. She was fitted with a pacemaker to ensure that if the natural impulse didn’t happen, a mechanical one would. It took Tina B a long time to recover from the operation and she spent the majority of her Std 7 / Grade 9 year at home.
By the end of Std 8 / Grade 10, Tina B was starting to struggle to get around her large high school, with its multiple stories and buildings. Her parents decided it would be best if she was home schooled. She matriculated in 1999 with the IEB.
As many South African matriculates do, Tina B decided to get some life experience before making the huge decision of what to study and went to England. Unfortunately the cold weather and the pollution of London did her no favours. So she headed back home.
Tina B began to study Public Relations in 2002, but by the time the second year of her degree course came, she was starting to struggle again. Doctors decided it best to replace her pacemaker. Unfortunately it took Tina B even longer to recover from this operation than the first. In fact she never returned to her previous physical vigour. The damage to the heart, lungs and other organs was starting to show and take its toll.
Tina B was now starting to sleep more than 18 hours a day and struggled to complete the simple tasks of brushing and washing her hair, bathing, eating and walking. She began to get pains in her chest and had constant headaches. Her bone marrow began making more red blood cells to try and get more oxygen into her system, which had the effect of thickening the blood, making it harder for the heart to pump and for it to move around the body, causing the symptoms she was experiencing. The solution: Venisection (a process of drawing a large amount of blood, in this case 600ml, every six weeks to try and thin it) as well as blood thinning medication and being on an oxygen machine. Essentially bed bound and dependant on her parents for everything, Tina B decided to shave off her hair as it was too much work and effort to even brush it every day. On permanent oxygen and using a wheel chair when going out of the house, Tina B had lost quality of life to such an extent that just breathing was a battle. This is when she went onto the South African Transplant List. There were no other treatments open to her.
After a wait of 2 and a half years, Tina B got her transplant and became the sixth person in South Africa to have had a heart and bilateral lung transplant. She is currently the longest living person in Africa to have had this transplant.
Transplant has changed her life from being bed bound, struggling with simple tasks like chewing and hating any kind of physical activity to living a full, productive and active life.
Since transplant Tina B has taken part in 2 cycle events, including the 2015 Cape Argus Cycle Tour. In 2019 she hit the gym to get into peak physical condition to compete in the Arnold Classic Africa Model Search!
Tina B has also studied to become a certified NLP Practitioner and life coach so that she can help others waiting for and recovering from transplant or surgery of any kind. She wholeheartedly believes that the success of anything lies in being prepared mentally, physically and emotionally.
Tina B works hard to raise awareness for Organ Donation and Transplant through her inspirational talks, interviews and various programs she’s involved with.