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Pelo Foundation Assists Kids With Much Needed Heart Surgery

Pelo Foundation, a non-profit company that raises awareness and funds for children with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) to receive treatment, recently helped a six-year-old girl receive life-saving heart surgery.

Chenille Nimrod was born in the Eastern Cape and has been on the heart surgery waiting list for more than three years. Pelo Foundation’s first beneficiary, she underwent life-changing surgery to repair the hole in her heart early in September of this year.

The successful operation was made possible through a partnership between Pelo Foundation and the Busamed Hospital Group.

Chenille is one of 200 children who have been placed on the heart treatment’s waiting list for many years by the Eastern Cape provincial government.

“I am so happy and grateful that my child has finally received the surgery we have been waiting for since 2018.

She is doing well and looks healthier. I would like to thank everyone who made this surgery possible and everyone who made it a success,” said Natasha Nimrod, the mother of baby Chenille

The operation was performed just a few weeks after the Pelo Foundation launched an awareness campaign to help save children who are in serious need of heart surgery and related treatment in South Africa.

It is estimated that 1 out of every 1 000 babies is born with Congenital Heart Disease and that every six hours a newborn is added to the waiting list of those in need of surgery and/or treatment. Data also shows that 1 to 2 children die each week.

Currently, there are five other children from the Eastern Cape who are in dire need of medical intervention.

These children include a seven-year-old boy from Mdantsane who was born with severe left pulmonary artery stenosis and a 6-year-old from Bloemendal who has been diagnosed with PmVSD and has been on the waiting list for 7 years old.

Also on the list is an 11-month-old baby boy from Uitenhage, KwaNobuhle who was born with Down Syndrome; a four-month-old from Sidwell, whose complications include failure to thrive, recurrent respiratory tract infections due to pulmonary congestion, and a 20-month-old child who desperately needs heart treatment.

If these children, all born with severe heart conditions, do not receive immediate medical intervention, they could suffer further health complications or may even die.

Dr Michael Janson from Busamed Hospital in Paardevlei who was part of the team that performed the surgery said:

“I am very pleased that we have managed to successfully conduct the surgery since it was the first child to be operated on under this project.

Our aim is to assist as many children as we can – should we immediately get the financial injection needed.

“Normally children can be on the waiting list for about two years. I hope that there will be many entities that will come up and collaborate so that we may assist in saving more lives.”

Due to the burden of the disease in South Africa and the magnitude of the problem, Pelo Foundation is raising awareness concerning the plight of children in need of CHD treatment and intervention.

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