On the waiting list

clip_image002Wendy Shabangu, born in December 2010, desperately needs help. She’s currently lying in an ICU bed at Steve Biko Academic hospital, having been diagnosed with a Truncus Ateriosus Type 2 and a Large Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD).

Truncus arteriosus is a rare type of congenital heart disease in which a single blood vessel (truncus arteriosus) comes out of the right and left ventricles, instead of the normal two (pulmonary artery and aorta). Ventricular Septal Defect describes one or more holes in the wall that separates the right and left ventricles of the heart. Ventricular septal defect is one of the most common congenital (present from birth) heart defects. It may occur by itself or with other congenital diseases, as is the case with Wendy.

As a result of these defect, Wendy’s body is oxygen starved and she, more often than not, struggles to breath because she is just not getting enough oxygen pumped through her body and to her vital organs.

According to her doctor, Dr. Takawira, Wendy is classified as a complex case and requires a large operation in order to save her heart—which would cost in the region of R300,000, an amount of money that Wendy’s mother, Noncedo, who is unemployed, simply cannot afford.

Wendy and her family live in rural Kamhlushwa, which is just outside Malelane, near the Kruger national Park in the Mpumalanga Province. Wendy’s mother relies heavily on the support of her mother, who often looks after Wendy while Noncedo finds odd jobs and sells crafts to earn some money.

Wendy’s outlook isn’t good. Without surgery it’s unlikely that she’ll live past her first few months.

Wendy’s case has been forwarded to the WSPCF, but given the complex nature of her case, there simply is not enough money to help pay for her operation unless a specific donation is made on her behalf. Until then, Wendy will remain on the WSPCF waiting list.

If you or your organisation would like to make a contribution towards helping Wendy, or would like to donate the entire R300,000 that would save Wendy’s life, please don’t hesitate to contact the WSPCF offices on 011 257 2017.


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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