Brendan, age 7 was diagnosed in December 2013 with Moya Moya, a disease where the blood vessels stop supplying blood to the brain. When Brendan complained about a headache and sore ears, his mother, Lisa took him to their local doctor in Grahamstown. The doctor diagnosed him with an ear infection and gave Brendan antibiotics. By after lunch time on the same day, Brendan was paralyzed from his middle down.
Lisa rushed him to their doctor but the same prognosis was given. The next morning with the hope that Brendan will be better, half the side of his face was paralyzed. Lisa started doing some research on Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and decided it best to bring Brendan to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital with the hope that the doctors will be able to tell her what is wrong with her boy.
In early February 2014, Brendan went for brain scans at the Hospital; the doctors told Lisa that Brendan had already had two strokes. After the scans, Brendan went home and the doctors had to wait six weeks for the antibiotics to take effect and for the tests to come back before they could operate on Brendan and while waiting for the six weeks to pass by, another stroke hit Brendan. On the 27th of March, Brendan had undergone an operation at the Hospital where blood was restored to his brain.
Lisa knew for Brendan to be normal again after the operation, this was his only chance as the doctors told her that this sort of operation can only be performed once. After a six and a half hour operation, Brendan was recovering in ICU and received the medical attention that was needed, but unfortunately six hours later he had another stroke.
His mother slept in ICU next to his bed and when Brendan came out of ICU into a surgical ward his mother never left his bed side. Lisa still sleeps every night on a chair right next to his bed and praying that a miracle will happen. Lisa can’t say when they will head back to Grahamstown, but for now the Hospital is their “home”. After four strokes Brendan is now part of a rehabilitation programme where he receives speech therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
For Lisa it feels as if she is only dreaming when she looks at her boy in a wheelchair and he can’t run around and play outside like a child of 7 years should be. “I hope I can just wake up from this bad dream but I will have faith and pray for a miracle” says Lisa with tears in her eyes.
She is very grateful for the Hospital and the lengths they have gone to, to help her little boy. FOCHA – which is the Friends of the Children’s Hospital Association, have provided Lisa with meals and tioletries to help make her stay by her little boy’s bedside a bit more bearable.