Cape Town – In what has been described as a miracle, a baby born weighing 410g, less than a 500g tub of margarine, was yesterday discharged from the Melomed Gatesville hospital, weighing a healthy 1.840kg after 83 days of care.
Born at 26 weeks on July 26, Siphesihle Lambatha was the smallest baby to be born at the hospital.
Her mother, Yandisa Ngele Lambatha, said yesterday that she didn’t believe they were finally going home.
“I’m very excited and happy. With the support of my husband and nursing staff and doctors, the journey was very easy. I looked forward to seeing my baby every day.”
Father Ntandazo Lambatha echoed his wife’s sentiments, saying: “It’s a very good feeling going home with my child.
"It hasn’t been easy because as a father you must pray every day, clean the house, look after your wife. I thank God we’ve made it. I really missed the baby at home.”
Melomed Gatesville hospital paediatrician Dr Shukrie Raban said the parents were the most important people in the process of care.
“We were merely facilitators in the whole process. Our biggest joy was that we had the privilege to see a 400g baby develop over 83 days into the little kid we’re about to send home with her parents. We’re honoured to have been part of the process.
“We’ve had a relationship with mom before. In 2015 she also delivered a premature baby, who weighed 530g. She is 4 years old today. To do it the second time with the mom, she was so amazing,” Raban said.
“We had to obsess about the small things, making sure baby’s temperature was well controlled, making sure she got adequate feeds, her calorie intake happened at the correct time every day. All these little things were done proficiently.
“We will continue following up. The next steps will be to see that the baby continues to grow and stays in good health, meeting growth parametres, looking out for neurodevelopmental problems etc.”
Nursing manager, sister Jacqueline Maart, said it was challenging in the beginning: “You don’t always know which way they can go, but it’s so rewarding to see the baby’s development.
“With all premature babies, they lose weight in the beginning, struggle to get back up, get small infections, have feeding problems, but it made this little girl stronger. Once we were over the hurdles, she was just growing and improving day by day.
“We use old school love and care, treating the baby like our own. Dr Raban is always up to date with new developments in neonatal medicine. Combined with the dedication of nursing staff, you have a winning team.”