Boy's Dream Come True after 16 years

Zithobile Dayile from Warmer Township, Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape, is leading a healthy life following a heart operation he underwent in March 2022. The 17-year-old teenager who has been on the heart-surgery waiting list for 16 years finally received the life-saving operation he had been dreaming of for most of his life.

The surgery, performed at the Busamed Private Hospital in Paardevlei, Western Cape, was to repair a faulty tube situated inside a hole in his heart. His mother, Sindiswa Dayile, expressed her happiness. “My boy is now healthier. Before the operation he coughed continuously and had daily nosebleeds, which have since stopped. We are happy that he finally received the surgery. I would like to thank everyone who played a role to make the operation possible.”

The surgery was made possible by Pelo Foundation, a non-profit organisation that raises funds and awareness for children in serious need of heart treatment and surgeries, and its partners, which include Busamed Private Hospital Group and Wings and Wishes that transports the children from anywhere in the country to a designated Busamed Hospital.

Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital, Dr Michael Janson said: “Zithobile was operated to close the hole in his heart and also to fix a fault that was there. If the boy did not undergo the operation there were chances that he would in future suffer from hypertension. Normally these kinds of operations are performed when the child is around five years old, but with him, the symptoms were not as problematic.”

Busamed Group Clinical Manager, Dr Christelle de Jager, added that South Africa has hundreds of children who are on the heart-surgery waiting list. “The partnership with Pelo Foundation and Wings and Wishes is to ensure that many more children born with CHD can access this most needed surgery to improve their quality of life,” she said.

Pelo Foundation spokesperson Ms Dudu Mvimbi Leshabane said Zithobile is the fourth child to receive heart surgery since the launch of the foundation in June 2021. “This is a milestone and a reality for the foundation. Our aim is to raise more funds so that more children with Congenital Heart Disease may receive life-saving surgeries and treatments.”

The vision of the foundation is to ensure that Africa’s Children with Congenital Heart Disease, who come from indigent communities, can have a chance to make it to adulthood.

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