“ I kept asking why she was so purple”
The story behind Cape Town’s little miracle.
For the first three months of Thaakirah’s life the disease went undetected. Her parents realised she was not thriving, but no one could tell them what was wrong.She had an elevated heartbeat, bluish skin colour at times and had trouble feeding – all signs, they learnt later, of congenital heart disease.Thaakirah’s concerned mother took her to clinics and nurses, but they didn’t realise she needed urgent medical help.
“I went regularly to the clinic where they helped me with the feeding, but no one really picked anything up,” she said, speaking to the Cape Argus in a room at the hospital. When Thaakirah fell sick with diarrhoea, her mother was advised she needed to be rehydrated. But she wasn’t happy with the diagnosis.
“I took her to the pharmacy, and the pharmacists said to me she needs to go to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital immediately.”
When they arrived at the hospital the doctor on duty immediately recognised the telltale signs of congenital heart disease.
The doctor on duty took one look at her and immediately knew that she had a heart condition and life as I once knew it changed forever, says her mother.
Life with a CHD baby is very unpredictable. She can be happy and smiling one minute and the next you are rushing her off to the emergency unit of the hospital. Hospital becomes your second home.For myself personally it was a very long and hard journey and during the course of the past 3 and a half years I have searched various sites on the internet looking for other parents in similar circumstances just so that I didn’t feel so alone. It is wonderful to be able to share her story
On August 27 last year, local cardiothoracic surgeon operated on her heart, successfully performing a Nikaidoh-bex procedure, a first for the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.
Thaakirah is now back home with her family. Her parents say she now plays for hours in the park.
Read more about Thaakirah’s story here.
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