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Cape Town – The parents of a four-year-old girl who recently underwent complicated heart surgery are celebrating their daughter’s new lease on life after a dedicated team of doctors performed the surgery free of charge.
The Ngwenya family say they are grateful to the two major health-care companies, Medipost Holdings and the Netcare Foundation.which availed the resources that were needed for their daughter Amara’s intricate heart surgery.
Little Amara was the latest beneficiary of the Heart-to-Heart Campaign, a corporate social investment match funding initiative that works to mobilise resources for life-saving operations for children suffering life-threatening heart conditions.
Amara’s mother Runel Ngwenya said: “Two years ago, Amara developed a fever and was so ill that she had to be admitted for about two weeks. The doctors diagnosed rheumatic fever and found that her heart was beating abnormally.
“After that, Amara wasn’t eating or growing normally like other kids. As parents, we were so worried about our daughter’s health, especially because we are both unemployed and could not afford medical aid.
“We are extremely grateful to the foundation for their half of the donation, which enabled our daughter to get the specialised medical intervention that will hopefully allow her to live a full and normal life.”
Maboneng Heart and Lung Institute cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Erich Schürmann said: “Amara was referred to us with a hole between the two upper chambers of her heart, which required a specialised procedure to correct.
“If untreated, the hole in the septum the size Amara had, unfortunately, could have been life-threatening, as the child grows the heart defect ultimately damages the arteries of the lungs. Fortunately, Amara’s procedure went smoothly, and was completed in three hours,” said Schürmann.
Schürmann was one of the cardiothoracic surgeons who, with Dr Martin Myburgh of the Maboneng Heart and Lung Institute, paediatric cardiologist Dr Janine Meares, anaesthetist Dr Krishnee Naidoo and cardiac perfusionist Mogotsi Mophosho, committed their time and expertise free of charge to provide Amara with the lifesaving procedure and care she needed.
Medipost Holdings marketing director Rentia Myburgh said: “We are delighted that Amara is recovering well after her operation. She has been incredibly brave, and children like her represent the future. It has been our privilege to contribute funding for her procedure.”
Now able to play, and run around like other children her age, Amara said she dreams of becoming a fairy who will use her magic to make other children fairies so that they can help others too.”