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PATIENT STORIES

Meet Aloshay

Aloshay is a six-year-old patient from Kraaifontein in the Western Cape, who has been in and out of hospital since the start of her little life. Aloshay could barely walk when she was first admitted to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in 2011 to undergo a liver transplant procedure.

Little Aloshay has had a trying medical journey, which started a few months after she was born when she was diagnosed with a severe liver disease. Her mom, Candice, says that Aloshay’s physical development was not on par with other young children – she had a very swollen belly and she was often very ill as a result of her condition.

For months Candice was very worried and feared that her little girl might not survive the terrible disease that she was suffering from. “The doctors told us that she was dying, and that if she didn’t receive a liver, she would not survive.”

Aloshay received a liver transplant when she was 18-months-old, but the battle was not yet over for this special little girl. Her immune system was very weak and not long after the procedure, she suffered from post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD), a common complication after liver transplantation, particularly in children. She became very sick with pneumonia and both her mom and the doctors were very worried about her well-being.

Candice remembers that it was at this time that the doctors needed to urgently admit Aloshay to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Hospital, but the sad reality was that there weren’t enough beds available in the ICU for all the sick little children that needed critical care during that time. “I remember that the ICU was so full and we were all waiting for the doctors to say that she could finally be moved in. The ICU doctors were running up and down between the renal ward and the ICU to keep her stable.”

Once admitted to the ICU, Aloshay had to stay there for a few weeks in order to receive critical care. “She was on the ventilator, as well as the oscillator machines to assist with her breathing,” says Candice. She believes that although it was a terrible experience being next to her sick little girl in an ICU, she was at ease, because of the care that they received. “The help and assistance from the doctors and nurses was amazing, the nurses were always at Aloshay’s bedside and we never felt alone.”

Even though Aloshay still faced many more medical challenges after being discharged from ICU a few years ago, Candice is hopeful and grateful for how much happier and healthier her child is today. “It is a difficult process, because you cannot see tomorrow, but we have hope.” Aloshay still frequently has to visit the Hospital for tests, but she is currently in Grade 1 and dreams of becoming a nurse one day.

There are many little children like Aloshay who require special care in the paediatric intensive care unit at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. Help give childhood back by sending an *SMS to 40465 to donate R20 to building a bigger and better ICU or donate online.

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