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PATIENT STORIES

Meet Zeke

This Women’s Day, think of Samantha

Samantha has three healthy children and was delighted when she fell pregnant with her fourth. The pregnancy was normal and her baby seemed healthy, up until her 35-week check-up. The nurse found that her stomach hadn’t grown, which meant the baby wasn’t growing.

The Ottery-based mom went straight to Mowbray Maternity, where doctors found that her little boy was in distress. There was water on his brain and the bottom of his spine was exposed. She immediately underwent a Caesarean section. At only 1.9kg, little new born Zeke was rushed straight to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital to undergo surgery to close-up the skin over his spine.

Samantha and Zeke’s medical journey wasn’t over yet though. Little Zeke was struggling to breathe and had to undergo several scans and scopes to figure out why. Eventually, he was diagnosed with bilateral vocal fold, which means that his vocal cords are immobile.

As a mother of a 14-year-old, 11-year-old and 7-year-old, Samantha knew that she needed to do whatever she could to give Zeke a chance at life. When doctors suggested a tracheostomy and a peg, allowing her baby to breathe and feed, she agreed without hesitation.

“At that stage, I just wanted the right thing for Zeke. The doctors and nurses had explained everything to me, so I wasn’t worried. I just wanted him to get better.”

On 5 August, Samantha was ready to take Zeke home for the very first time in his three months of life. He has responded very well to the tracheostomy and peg and has even smiled at his mom, while batting his long eyelashes.

“I am so excited to take him home and I know that my other children are going to fight over him,” Samantha says.

It is everyday women like Samantha, who are doing extraordinary things for the people that they love, that should be celebrated this Women’s Day.

Help give childhood back to little ones from all over Africa. Let their mom’s see them grow up.

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