Riley was born on Friday the 13th March via C-section weighing 3.7kgs. The pregnancy was considered very normal with no complications.
Shortly after delivery in an attempt to breast feed Riley, he struggled with a blocked nose. After many attempts, nurses noticed Riley's rapid breathing which was later found to be 4 defects of the heart. After spending 10 days in the NICU, Riley was discharged. His weight and growth were closely monitored which was a slow progress.
Justin was born at 39 weeks with a whole lot more wrong with his heart than the AVSD he had been diagnosed with, in utero. A day after Justin arrived, my husband and I were gently informed that our newborn son had an Interrupted Aortic Arch, 2 different holes (VSD & ASD), aortic valve stenosis and a PDA. Because of the extent of the stenosis, the doctors weren't really considering surgery as a viable option.
I am Lulama Sifuba, a 45 year old mother of an Angel and two older children.
My last child Zenande (Zenney) was born on the 1st November 2016 at a government hospital in Gqeberha. She weighed 2.8kg and was born with Down Syndrome and 3 defects in her heart.
Despite many challenges and open heart surgery in 2018, she managed to pull through. During her young life she was on constant medication and had to endure hospital visits on a monthly basis.
Two of our older heart warriors, i.e Unako Ntshintshi and Lelethu Stemele took it upon themselves to advocate for CHD and to educate children around oral hygiene.
I am Andrew Lake aged 52 years old living in South Africa. I have had 4 open-heart surgeries. Born with CHD in 1970 before all the technological advancements of today.
After battling for 3 years to fall pregnant, my husband and I decided to seek medical advice.
After much invasive and expensive medical treatment, we eventually fell pregnant. All of this happened during the Covid-19 pandemic and because I was in and out of hospitals I had countless amounts of Covid tests, but nothing could contain our excitement when we discovered we were expecting twins.
Alletta - Grace is a normal 13 year old. She is in Grade 8 and is so full of life, has lots and lots of friends and will never allow herself to be bullied in school. The teenage years developed my child into this beautiful, breath taking young lady. She is an active young girl, running around and enjoying life, yet if you are an outsider you would never guess what she has been through.
Ariana Grace Moodley made her entrance into this world on the 30th of June 2019. As her name suggests, she was a blessing to her parents.
A beautiful bouncing girl at 2.6kg.
She struggled to feed from birth and formulas were changed frequently.
At her 6 weeks check up, a heart murmur was heard. We were referred to a cardiologist in Durban who diagnosed Truncus Ateriosus.
We met 25 year old Lelethu Stemele (Lady on the right) on our CHD Awareness Walk in East London on the 5th February of this year, and again at our parent support visit to Cecilia Makiwane Hospital on the 7th April.
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