A life-saving Christmas gift

By Masoka Dube

Young Samantha Nwelana, who’s only four-years-old, has received free surgery to repair a hole in her heart — and this will be the first time she will truly get to enjoy Christmas with her mother.

“It will be the first time that Samantha is not in pain,” said Samantha’s mom Nomfusi Nelwana, speaking from her home in Mandela Park outside Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.

“Our family is looking forward to having a great festive season which will coincide with the celebration of her successful heart surgery.”

Nomfusi said she was relieved that the operation was a success and that her child will for the first time enjoy Christmas like other children.

Samantha’s heart condition was discovered in June 2021 and her situation deteriorated and the Pelo Foundation had to step in and assist with funding.

Samantha, who is suffering from Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) underwent her operation at the Busamed Modderfontein Private Hospital in Gauteng last week Friday.

CHD is a condition in which a child is born with a fault in their heart.

The mother said previously Samantha spent her Christmas celebrations in pain because she was always weak and tired.

“This year it will be different because the family will be gathering at home and sharing Christmas gifts with the little girl so that she can realise that she is special to us,” said Nomfusi.

“I was always worried as I did not know what was going to happen to her. She was very sick. Doctors had to cancel the first operation when her health deteriorated. Now this second time around, my baby girl was strong and healthy.”

Nomfusi has shown gratitude to everyone who has made it possible for her child to receive the operation.

“Samantha is at home and recovering well. Next year she is going to Grade 1.”

Pelo Foundation spokesperson Dudu Mvimbi Leshabane said: “Samantha is one of the 13 children whose operations were made by the foundation and its partners Busamed Private Hospital Group, where the children are operated, and Wings and Wishes, an NGO which transports the children from their homes to hospital and back.”

Leshabane said currently, the Eastern Cape Province alone has approximately 500 children who are on the waiting list for the CHD heart surgery.

Pictured above: Samantha Nwelana

Image source: Supplied

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