Nadine Raal’s wrenching experience with her infant son’s congenital heart defects and subsequent surgery is detailed in her new book, Mending a Broken Heart – which was launched, appropriately, at the WSPCF’s offices as Sunninghill Hospital, Johannesburg.
Raal says that the unit is a “national treasure”. Trough her writing, she hoped to raise awareness of the brilliant work that is tirelessly and passionately performed by the doctors and nurses who staff the centre. She said that 95% of congenital heart defects are in fact operable and curable and that hope always lives on in the unit. “My son’s railroad scar down the centre of his chest is now his badge of honour and healing.”
Lynda Bleazard said that Raal’s book was testament to the bravery and willpower of the children who are operated on. She applauded the strength of Raal and her husband in the face of major uncertainty and fear. Bleazard said that the foundation has raised R40 million to-date, and continues to serve children whose parents cannot afford the R165,000 operation that, barring complications, can save their lives.
Highveld Stereo presenter Sam Cowen, guest speaker at the launch and ambassador of the WSPCF, said Raal’s book would help all parents with very ill children to feel less alone. She said that the unit was the “closest thing to God there is.”
The audience included parents whose children had not made it through the operation. There wasn’t a dry eye in the unit as Nadine read excerpts from her book.