A standing ovation for beloved teacher – Chanell Meijer

Annette Willemse -- Mon, 05/04/2015 - 20:08

A standing ovation for beloved teacher – Chanell Meijer

An accident on 19 December 2014 left Chanell Meijer (30) in a coma for more than 40 days. On Monday, 4 May 2015 – five months after her horrific ordeal, the courageous Chanell joined her fellow students to receive her Honours degree in Education (Hons BEd), during the Autumn Graduation Ceremony of the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal).

Chanell and her brother, Shaun Meeting the Rector, Prof Thanyani Mariba
The Campus Rector conferred the degree The Campus Registrar hung the Faculty band

There was not a dry eye in the auditorium at the Quest Conference Estate in Vanderbijlpark, when Chanell’s brother, Shaun, pushed his sister in a wheelchair to meet the Rector – Prof Thanyani Mariba and the Campus Registrar, Mrs Elbie Steyn, to have her degree conferred. Chanell enjoyed a standing ovation as the Campus Registrar placed her Faculty band over her frail shoulders.

At the time of the accident, Chanell was a teacher at Hoërskool Sasolburg in the Free State and an avid sports enthusiast. She taught mathematics and accounting at Hoërskool Sasolburg and also coached several sporting codes. She is a qualified hockey referee.

 As an 18 year-old, Chanell received an international tennis bursary and relocated to the United States of America. She received a degree in accounting and financial sciences from the University of Lafayette. As a triathlon athlete, Chanell completed her first Comrades Marathon in 2014.  She also completed two Iron Man Competitions.

The accident occurred whilst Chanell was cycling and she was hit by a delivery vehicle in Beethoven Street in Vanderbijlpark. She sustained serious head injuries and was airlifted to the Netcare Union Hospital in Alberton.  After awaking from her coma, she was transferred to a medical rehabilitation centre in Johannesburg. 

The Meijer family. Yvonne and Piet with their children, Chanell and Shaun