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A Father’s Journey – Christo van Wyk

“I never intended on getting anything as a handout, and that simply isn’t the way I am put together. But I have a family to take care of, so I’ll swallow my pride and take any help I can get.”

Christo became a father a mere 5 months ago to baby boy, Michael. Sadly Christo has been dealt a bad card pertaining to the health of his child. With no medical aid, Michael was born at a state run hospital in Port Elizabeth which is where his story began.

Michael was diagnosed with a heart defect. The very first 3 days of Michael’s life he was given a broad spectrum antibiotic for an infection he contracted while in hi-care. After two weeks in hospital Michael was in the clear and could be taken home. It was explained that Michael would need to grow and gain some weight before any surgery could be done. While at home, Christo and Talita noticed baby Michael was having trouble breathing and running a temperature when feeding.

On the fourth attempt trying to get medical attention, baby Michael was diagnosed with ‘failure to thrive’ and was admitted and placed on a feeding tube. After contracting a viral infection in the hospital, Michael’s heart went into cardiac failure. Christo was determined to get his son the best medical care possible but had burned through all their savings while trying to care for their son.

While in the PICU, Michael contracted a fourth infection. At this point Christo rallied on social media to get Michael to the Red Cross Hospital in Cape Town and fund their journey.  

While they have made it to Cape Town and Michael is finally getting the proper treatment at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Christo, as the breadwinner for his family, realized the journey had only begun due to the serious debt they incurred and an urgent need to plan for his family and Michaels future.

That’s when we met Christo. After stumbling on the yachting industry, Christo soon realized this was the best way he could provide for his family. He would need to recover from their debt incurred, prepare for the future healthcare his son may need as well as save for Michael’s future and give him the childhood he so deserves.

After hearing about Christo’s experience and skill set – we quickly realized he would be a valuable asset to any yacht. With his experience in carpentry including deck construction, restoration & repair work, the hospitality industry and IT, Christo says if it beeps, blinks, splinters, runs or floats – he can fix it.

We at Certified Superyacht Academy are covering the costs of Christo’s yacht training, which he begins this very week, but we do still need lots of help and we’re turning to the yachting community.

We need to help Christo and the van Wyk family recover from their debt incurred and rebuild their depleted savings so that Michael’s future healthcare never has to be compromised. To achieve this, we would like to appeal to you on two levels:

1) Deckhand/Engineer Employment

– Christo is a hard-working, highly skilled individual who possesses relevant and necessary
  skills required for the position of Deckhand/Engineer.

– With his experience in carpentry including deck construction, restoration & repair work, motor mechanics, sea rescue, IT and the hospitality industry Christo says if it beeps, blinks, splinters, runs or floats – he can fix it.

– Previously, Christo was a level 3 advanced first responder and attained his qualification through active duty within the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) of South Africa.

– He has excelled in every opportunity he has been given and has had the privilege of fulfilling the following roles:
  Head Carpenter, Assistant Construction Site Supervisor, IT Specialist & General Manager.

Through Certified Superyacht Academy, Christo will soon have the following certifications:

  • STCW ’10 (Basic Safety Training)
  • Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD)
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • Approved Engine Course (AEC)
  • Deckhand Course    

2) For those unable to assist us in finding Christo employment, we have set up a crowdfunding page via to raise funds for:

  • Debt recovery
  • Rebuilding savings for Michael’s future medical needs

If you can help, please visit our Chuffed page

If there is any other way you can help, please contact Conrad Callow (Director of Certified Superyacht Academy) or Christo van Wyk directly.


Phone: +27 (0) 81 502 9791


Phone: +27 (0) 72 219 8885


Facebook: Certified Superyacht Training @certifiedtraining

Instagram: @certified_superyacht_academy

Please share this far & wide and let’s help change someone’s life for the better.