“Hospice does not always equal death” – Neil McDonald CEO of Khanya Hospice

In continuation with our #HospiceVisits drive we are now in the second week of publishing the amazing success stories, moments and facts we have been able to gather during our three day trip in Durban. This week the focus is on Khanya Hospice.

 Khanya Hospice, is a fantastic hospice with the head office based in Umkomaas, Upper South Coast of Durban. They currently look after +- 170 patients a month (patients normally get one visit per week) and Hospice relies heavily on kind donations from individual people, families and businesses to support and continue the great work they are doing. 

We managed to have a chat with the extremely vibrant CEO of Khanya Hospice, Neil McDonald and heard about his experiences within Hospice and how it all began for him.


Neil started his journey at Khanya Hospice 8 years ago coming from a hospital background. He has been in the medical field for the majority of his life. When the advert appeared that Khanya Hospice was looking for a CEO, Neil applied and landed the job to his delight. Neil, who is very passionate about the work he is doing, is also a trauma counsellor as well as a marriage counsellor, he also managed a suicide support group for people who tried to commit suicide, so his involvement in making a difference in people’s lives has never been in doubt. 

Perception of “Hospice”

Khanya which means ‘light’ in Zulu, sums up perfectly for him what hospice is about. Light, love and compassion. Too many times he has come across people, places and organisations who, when you talk about hospice, immediately think of ‘death’ or dying, and while at times that is the case and patients do die with dignity and peace, a number of the times they leave hospice fully recovered and living life to the fullest.

Too many of those stories and case studies are left in the shadows and Neil has made it a personal quest to push more of these stories so that this perception around hospice can change!

Most times he takes the opportunity, when invited to speak about Hospice, or in news related articles, to address these wrong perceptions when he holds public speaker events at schools, Senior Citizens groups, churches and fundraising events. People are left quite surprised at what they thought hospice and palliative care was about to what it truly is. 

Power of gratefulness

“There is nothing else better for me in the World than to just hear the word “thank you” from the patients that we have been able to make a positive impact in” stated Neil. “There is nothing better than the gratefulness one gets from the patients for the amazing work that our nursing staff provides for the patients”, he continued.

Visit Khanya Hospice and find out more about this amazing hospice and how you can get involved! There are various ways that people can get involved in helping Khanya Hospice, like volunteering in any of our three shops, doing collections and help with street collections.