'She was an angel sent back to heaven': Cape baby dies of rare illness
Western Cape / 1 August 2019, 5:59pm / Genevieve Serra/Daily Voice
“She was an angel sent back to heaven.”
These are the words of mom, Rozanne Arendze, 30, of Delft. Her daughter, seven-month-old Lemicah Faith Arendze, died at Delft Day Hospital on Tuesday.
The baby had a rare case of Hydrocephalus, a condition where excess fluid in the brain leads to the head growing abnormally large.
In June, when the Daily Voice interviewed the family, Lemicah’s story touched the hearts of people as far as New Zealand who made offers of help.
Lemicah’s head circumference was an enormous 96cm, but was reduced to 83cm after she had surgery at Tygerberg Hospital where a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt was placed inside her head to drain excess fluid and help relieve pressure on her brain.
The cute baby responded well to people. She would smile and grip their fingers, although her eyes could not open all the way due to the pressure in her head.
Lemicah lived with her mother, father, 35, her 63-year-old ouma, and three siblings aged 12, six and three in a three-bedroom home in Delft.
Unfortunately, a month ago, Lemicah became seriously ill and doctors were forced to remove the shunt which had caused an infection.
A hartseer Rozanne says her “little princess” became unresponsive: “The shunt was removed a month ago at Tygerberg Hospital.
“Lemicah developed an infection due to the shunt, which was affecting her spine.
“She was not as responsive as usual and could not move and was placed on morphine.
“I took her off the morphine and then she was starting to become her old self again.”
But on Tuesday her health took a turn for the worse and Lemicah was rushed to Delft Day Hospital with the help of the Delft Community Policing Forum.
“She died at 2pm at Delft Hospital,” the mother says.
Rozanne says Lemicah, her only daughter, had brought many people together.
“I think her purpose was to bring everyone together, she made our family bond stronger.
“She was an angel now sent back to heaven.
“I won’t be able to thank each and everyone for what they did for my daughter personally, so I want to say thank you to everyone, and for their support and their messages of condolences through the Daily Voice.”
Pastor Charles George, the chairperson of the Delft CPF, says they are saddened by Lemicah’s death.
“She brought a lot of joy and hope to many people. We will continue to walk the road with her parents and see where we can support.”
Rozanne says a memorial service and her daughter’s funeral are still being arranged and no details are available yet.