Little Sudi Mutombo from Congo was only two years old when his grandmother brought him to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital to assess his inflated stomach. He was diagnosed and treated for Sickle Cell Anaemia at the Hospital’s Oncology Unit. He experienced extremely painful episodes as a result of his illness and the effect of his condition was an enlarged spleen that caused a frequent need for blood transfusions.
Sudi required a splenectomy, which is the removal of the spleen and this was performed in the Hospital’s new Operating Theatre Complex with state-of-the-art surgical equipment. He was fortunate to receive keyhole (minimally invasive) surgery and via a laparoscopic camera, internal images of Sudi’s surgery were transmitted onto a high definition screen. The surgery was a success and surgeons were able to remove Sudi’s spleen without any complications.
The miracle of this revolutionary surgery meant that there were tiny incisions made, from which the surgeons were able to operate. This greatly lessened Sudi’s pain and trauma; time spent in Hospital, caused minimal scarring and carried less risk of post-operative complications.
This type of surgery is very complex, requiring highly skilled surgeons who are only able to perform these types of surgeries in modern specialised theatres with the latest surgical equipment. Luckily for Sudi, all of these are available at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, where there is also a Surgical Skills Training Centre to train surgeons in Endoscopic (minimally invasive surgery).
Sudi is now a happy little boy and will no longer experience the painful crises he had during his illness. He may not know it yet, but he has been given a second chance at living a normal, healthy and productive life. One can only imagine what great things this little boy will achieve when he grows up.