Where are they now?

clip_image002Born on 21/4/05, Nombulelo Tshbalala—”Buli” to us—didn’t have an easy beginning to her life. Her mom, Khosi, noticed from very early that she wasn’t well. Her lips were always turning blue and she often struggled to breathe.

Khosi rushed her to Baragwaneth Hospital, where her doctors diagnosed her as having a congenital heart defect—a ventricular septal defect and closed pulmonary artery. While the surgeons at Baragwaneth Hospital were able to repair Buli’s heart at much less than what a private hospital would have charged, Khosi still could not afford the R48,000 it would have taken to heal her daughter.

The fact that both Khosi and her husband, Mandla, were unemployed made this completely impossible.

clip_image002[4]Healthcare workers, moved by Buli’s plight, suggested that the WSPCCA be contacted to see if the unit had capacity to save Buli’s life. Thanks to funds donated by The Vodacom Foundation, Buli was able to be transported to Netcare Sunninghill Hospital via Netcare 911 and she was operated on immediately. The ventricular septal defect was closed and the closed pulmonary artery was repaired, and Buli was returned to ICU at Bara for recovery before being discharged home.

Today, Buli is a changed child. Her mom says that she is very noisy, stubborn, talkative and extremely active, which she would not have been without the life-saving surgery. She loves her McDonalds and, given the chance, will play non-stop from 6am to 7pm.

She visits the WSPCCA every year and is doing extremely well.

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About The WSPCF

The Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Foundation (WSPCF) is a philanthropic paediatric cardiac foundation for Africa, focussing on delivering life-saving surgery for underprivileged children with congenital heart disorders from across Africa. It also aims to develop diagnostic and treatment skills amongst Africa’s medical fraternity and conducts critical research into paediatric cardiac healthcare. The cardiac surgery or intervention is undertaken at the Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Centre for Africa situated in Netcare Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg, , as well as at Cape Town’s Netcare Christian Barnard Memorial and Red Cross Children’s Hospitals. The WSPCF was founded by Dr. Robin Kinsley in 2003, and was established as a living legacy to the late Walter Sisulu and his widow, Albertina, both of whom dedicated their lives to helping children in need.
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