Dr Maria Kmietsch, the daughter of a German missionary doctor and an Austrian mother, has lived her life practising ubuntu, a core value her father taught her and her 11 siblings at a young age.
At the tender age of 10, her father died and growing up she endeavoured to be like him.
Upon completing high school, she studied for one year at Durban Technicon where she obtained her dental assistant’s diploma in 1980.
“I worked briefly as a dental assistant and this is where my love for dentistry developed.
“The University of Pretoria accepted me as a student in 1985, and I obtained my BChD degree in 1990,” said Maria.
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Two years after her graduation she opened her dental practice in Rietfontein Road, Primrose, and has been practising in the town for 26 years.
“The people I have met during my time in this practice have hailed from different communities and from them, I have learned their way of living and shared my life with them,” she explained.
Seven years ago Maria was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
She managed the disease well over the years, however, after contracting pneumonia a few months ago she found herself hospitalised and forced to re-evaluate her daily routine.
“Due to the severity of my illness and the decline in lung functionality, I am no longer able to perform my duties.
“Therefore, it is with sadness that I have to announce my retirement from the profession I love.”
Although the curtain call has come four years before she had intended retiring, Maria expressed gratitude because her journey in dentistry helped her discover the connection to her father’s personality and love for helping people.
“Just like the legacy my father left behind, I would like to be remembered for my passion for people.
“I’m thankful to my patients and colleagues whom I’ve met throughout my career for their support loyalty and friendship,” she said.
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