Zithobile Dayile receives life-saving heart surgery

March 15, 2022

Zithobile Daylie (17) finally receives life-saving heart surgery following 16 years on the waiting list. His surgery was made possible by the Pelo Foundation, the Busamed Hospital Group and Wings and Wishes.

Zithobile who is from Warner Township in Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape, recently underwent surgery which was performed at Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital in the Western Cape. Dr Michael Janson (Cardiothoracic Surgeon) from Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital said the operation was a success and added that, “We operated on him to close the hole in his heart and also to fix the 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 this child, the symptoms were not as problematic.”

Sindiswa Dayile, Zithobile’s mother, expressed her happiness about the fact that her boy is now healthier than before.

“Before the operation he used to have daily nose bleeds. This has stopped since he received the surgery. He also used to cough continuously, which made him suffocate, and this seems to no longer be an issue. We’re just waiting to see if these complications are now gone for good.”

Upon receiving the news that her child was finally to receive the life-saving operation, Sandiswa says she was quite scared and worried, but that after the operation, her fear turned into great relief and laughter as they were all happy that the operation went well.

Sinidiswa said, “Now we are happy that he finally received the surgery we had all been waiting for, for almost 16 years. I used to take him to the clinic so that they could make sure he was okay. Initially, the doctors thought the hole in his heart would heal by itself, but they later realised that he would need surgery.”

“I would like to thank everyone who played a role to make the operation possible. Now the next step is to assist this grade 12 learner to access a disability grant”.

The operation 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. Its partners included the Busamed Private Hospital Group and Wings and Wishes who assisted with transporting Zithonile from the Eastern Cape to Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital in the Western Cape.

Through Pelo Foundation, Zithobile is the fourth child to be operated on to fix a congenital heart defect. The first three children who received life-saving surgeries between 2021 and now were also from the Eastern Cape.

The partnership with Busamed, Pelo Foundation and Wings and Wishes is to ensure that many more children born with Congenital Heart Disease (CDH) can access this most needed surgery to improve their quality of life.

Ms Dudu Mvimbi Leshabane from Pelo Foundation 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.”

Busamed Group Clinical Manager, Dr Christelle de Jager, added that South Africa has hundreds of children who are on the heart-surgery waiting list.

It is estimated that 1 out of every 1 000 babies is born with Congenital Heart Disease and that every six hours a new-born is added to the waiting list.

Dr Janson stated that, “We aim to operate on at least one child a week and believe it will make a huge difference,” said Janson.

To contact Pelo Foundation or to donate to this cause please visit their website on: https://pelofoundation.org/

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