The little South African with the biggest heart
The name Ian von Memerty didn’t mean much to our pupils when we introduced his son Oscar to them – they are obviously too young to remember the amazing show ‘Handful of keys’ from the ‘90s.
Oscar is a motivational speaker and has been described as ‘An extraordinary little South African with the biggest heart’. He really is little – only just over 1m tall – but in his presentation to the school everyone realised what a massive heart he has and they rose, as one man, and gave him a standing ovation at the end of his talk.
His very rare condition, Maroteaux Lamy Syndrome, is characterised by dwarfism and he has cheated death on a number of occasions through bone marrow transplants and various other operations. After his 10 minute cardiac arrest, doctors said he would be brain damaged for life – fortunately they were wrong.
He spoke about dealing with being different and how fame is just so fleeting and not worth chasing after. Happiness being much more important than money also came out loud and clear – things we know, but needed to be reminded of.