IN ORDER to see little Ayaan Ahmed Isaacs, permitted visitors have to scrub their hands and arms, and wear a face mask to prevent the seven-month-old from getting sick.
No one other than his immediate family is allowed to touch him, according to his mother, Shamaa Sheik.
Ayaan suffers from SCIDS, severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome, sometimes referred to as “bubble boy” disease.
This usually results in the onset of serious infections within the first few months of life.
These infections are usually serious and may even be life-threatening, and include pneumonia, meningitis or bloodstream infections.
Ayaan was born in March, but suddenly started becoming ill just days after being home with his family.
After copious painful procedures in hospital, three surgeries and hundreds of blood tests, Ayaan is continuously presented with a number of recurrent infections, Sheik said. His infection markers were always fluctuating, so his paediatrician decided to run more tests. By the end of April 2016, he was diagnosed with SCIDS.
The only known cure is a successful bone marrow transplant, for which the family begun raising funds. They will need to raise around R500 000 if a donor is found internationally.
At his home in Kenwyn, everything has been sterilised.
“The most difficult thing is when a child is born, you’re allowed to have contact with that baby. Anyone can pick the child up. You can go to the park, you can go to malls.
"For us it is so abnormal because we are not allowed to do anything – beyond this room we cannot go with him. That is why there is… stuff here to try and stimulate him, including his medical equipment,” Sheik added.
On October 29 at Kenwyn Primary School in Lansdowne, a comedy show, Laughs 4 Ayaan, will feature comedians Carl Weber, KG Mokgadi, Phil de Lange, Wesley Cockrell and Stuart Cairns.
The 8pm event costs R165, which includes a raffle ticket. There will also be an auction at the event.
To register as a donor call The Sunflower Fund toll-free number 0800 121 082 or 021 701 0661, or visit www. sunflowerfund.org.za