Eight-month-old Isivile was still in her mommy’s tummy when her heart slowed down. Mom Ayanda, who is from Khayelitsha, couldn’t feel her moving for a whole day. She went into hospital and underwent an emergency C-Section. Isivile came into the world four weeks early, but unfortunately had a number of health complications.
Little Isivile, who only weighed 1.7kg when she was born, has a trachea (breathing pipe) and oesophagus (food pipe) that are joined together. Her oesophagus also doesn’t reach all the way down into her tummy. Soon after she met her mom and dad for the first time, she had to have a tracheostomy, a colostomy, a gastronomy and an oesophagostomy inserted. These all help her to feed and to breathe.
Ayanda was incredibly stressed at the beginning of Isivile’s journey as she spent four months at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, but soon she learnt the ropes. She can now feed and clean her baby and knows how to change the tubes. For her, it’s just part of being a parent.
“Isivile is my first child and she’s growing up so nicely. She likes to laugh but she also sleeps a lot, especially once she has had her food,” she explains.
Her baby has a long road ahead of her and she will have to undergo a few operations, but being a part of Sister Jane Booth’s Breatheasy Tracheostomy & Ventilation Homecare Programme has given the family the confidence they need for their journey. Ayanda says the nurses have all helped her to become the best parent that she can be for Isivile and that the support in the E1 Ward is incredible.
Isivile is back in the E1 Ward at the moment while doctors and nurses monitor her progress. Ayanda isn’t worried though, she knows that her daughter is a fighter.