Christmas Came Early for Two Children Who Received Life Changing Heart Surgery

December 22, 2021

Six-year-old Sheronique Alysha Mengie and 10-year-old Cayson Jude Cerfonteyn recently underwent surgery to repair the holes in their tiny hearts. Both children were operated on at Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital and after their successful procedures were discharged on Saturday the 18th of December 2021, just in time to enjoy Christmas with their families.

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 surgeries.

Janice Cerfonteyn, mother to little Cayson said “I am very excited that my boy finally received the surgery that will 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. “

“We discovered that he had 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. 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,” added Janice.

Selwynessa Renzia Mengie, mother to little Sheronique says she is very happy that her child could finally undergo the vital operation after having been on the waiting list for about six years. The unemployed mother of three has thanked Pelo Foundation and the other stakeholders for assisting her child with this life-saving surgery. 

“Sheronique was always in and out of hospital because of her heart condition. We discovered that she had 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,” said Mengie. 

Dr. Adele Greyling (Paediatric Cardiologist) expressed that both operations went well, and that the surgeries successfully repaired the holes in their hearts. After leaving the hospital, Dr. Greyling and the team will continue to monitor their progress.

Dr Michael Janson from Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital was the Cardiothoracic Surgeon for both procedures. Dr. Janson says that these surgeries will significantly improve the patient’s quality of life and hopes that there will be many entities that will support the initiative so that we may assist in treating more children.

Dr. Janson said 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.

Dr Christelle de Jager, Busamed Group Clinical Manager stated that the Busamed Group is proud to partner with the Pelo Foundation in making a difference to these young lives. “Our team were pleased that both operations went well, and it is an achievement for the Cardiac Unit to perform this surgery as part of the growth in Paediatric Cardiology at Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital. We hope to continue to grow the unit and assist many more children by contributing to improving their quality of life”.

Dr de Jager further added that “The vision for Cardiac Care within the Busamed Group has always been to grow our Paediatric Cardiology units into Centres of Excellence.

With the support of our experienced specialists, we are able to advance our Cardiology Units to offer patients a full spectrum of quality care, supported by professional nursing and complemented with the latest technology.”

The vision for Pelo Foundation is to ensure that Africa’s Children with Congenital Heart Disease, who come from indigent communities, may have a chance to make it to adulthood.

Pelo Foundation spokesperson, Ms Dudu Mvimbi Leshabane said: “There are thousands of children who are waiting to receive heart treatment or surgery. If these children do not get immediate attention, they may die,” she adds.

For more information on Pelo Foundation or to make a donation visit their website at www.pelofoundation.org