Two Eastern Cape children receive life-saving heart surgeries in time for Christmas
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Rustenburg – Christmas came early for two Eastern Cape children who received life-saving heart surgeries.
With a week before Christmas Day, Sheronique Alysha Mengie, 6, and Cayson Jude Cerfonteyn, 10, were operated on to repair the holes in their tiny hearts.
They were discharged from Busamed Private Hospital in Paardevlei, Western Cape, on December 18.
The operations were made possible by Pelo Foundation, a non-profit organisation that raises funds and awareness for children in serious need of heart treatment and surgery.
“We discovered that Cayson has a fault in his heart when he was six months old, he has been on the heart surgery waiting list for five years. l was always worried because I could not afford to pay for his surgery,” said Cayson's s mother, Janice Cerfonteyn.
“I would like to thank everyone who made his operation possible. I am the only breadwinner and have three children. Before he was operated on, he used to play a lot, but he would constantly stop and complain about a painful chest.”
She said she was excited that her son had finally received the surgery that would change his life.
“Cayson was operated on a few days ago and he is doing well. Before going to hospital, we explained the surgery to him as best we could, but he was quite scared and our family was nervous about the operation as well. After coming out from the intensive care unit, he said to me ‘Mommy, I’m happy, I have a heart now!’ and I laughed and told him that he always had a heart.”
Selwynessa Renzia Mengie, the mother of Sheronique Alysha Mengie, said she was happy that her child could finally undergo the vital operation after having been on the waiting list for about six years.
“Sheronique was always in and out of hospital because of her heart condition. We discovered that she has a heart problem when she was two months old and since then she was put on the heart surgery waiting list. I would like to thank everyone for assisting to save my baby’s life. Since she underwent surgery, she is getting naughtier every day, which means she is getting better. Now she looks well and ready to go to school next year,” she said.
Busamed Hospital Group has partnered with Pelo Foundation to perform surgeries and offer treatment to children with congenital heart disease. These may vary from a diagnostic angiogram to an interventional procedures or even cardiac surgery.
The foundation and its partners had already assisted three children with much-needed heart surgeries. The first beneficiary was a 6-year-old girl from the Eastern Cape who received heart surgery a few months ago.
Dr Michael Janson from Busamed Private Hospital in Paardevlei said that if these children, all born with severe heart conditions, do not receive immediate medical intervention, they could suffer further health complications or may even die.
“Normally, children can be on the waiting list for about two years. I hope that there will be many entities that will come forward and collaborate so that we may assist in saving more lives,” he said.