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PATIENT STORIES

Meet Nawaal

The Children’s Hospital Trust announces the funding of the expansion and upgrade of Groote Schuur Neonatal Unit, strengthening neonatal care across the Western Cape Province while lessening the burden on the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

One of the patients who has benefitted from the relationship between Groote Schuur Hospital and the Red Cross Children’s Hospital is three-year-old Nawaal. The energetic and playful little girl was born three months prematurely at Groote Schuur Hospital weighing only 760 grams. She became very ill, developing necrotizing enterocolitis at 20 days old – an often fatal disease that affects premature babies. Part of her intestine had become gangrenous from the disease, which meant that Nawaal had to be rushed to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital to undergo surgery. Her entire large intestine was removed and she underwent three surgeries over just a few days. Her mother Charlotte and her family were told that all they could do was pray for her.

Despite still weighing less than 1000 grams, Nawaal pulled through the surgeries and survived five days in the paediatric ICU at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. She was transferred back to the Groote Schuur Hospital Neonatal Unit, where after a total of 91 days she fully recovered and was discharged.

Charlotte says, “The Neonatal Unit is so important because it’s a place where babies can grow safely.” The proud mom often brings her only daughter back to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital as well as the Groote Schuur Neonatal Unit to visit the doctors who saved her life.

The renovation of the Groote Schuur Neonatal Unit will improve neonatal healthcare across the province, preventing neonatal infections, increasing space in the unit, improving efficiency and workflow, and providing an environment that is conducive to the physical and emotional health of babies, parents and staff.

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