Community allows heart surgery for five-year-old


The Chronicle

Leonard Ncube at Victoria Falls
Taboka Angeline Sibanda, 5, an ECD learner at Chinotimba Primary School in Victoria Falls traveled to South Africa for heart surgery after her classmates and supporters raised the R30,000 needed for the ‘surgery.

Taboka, the youngest in a family of three, has pericardial effusion, also known as “fluid around the heart”; a condition where excess fluid develops between the wall of the heart (pericardium) and the heart itself.

She has an enlarged heart which causes her upper abdomen and chest to swell.

Medical experts have recommended that she travel to South Africa or India for the operation.

About R30,000 is needed for the surgery in South Africa and the same surgery costs US $ 10,000 in India.

Learners from Chinotimba Primary School raised 13,000 rand on a civic day where each learner paid US $ 1, while two tourists and a local resident found the balance after reading the girl’s plight in Chronicle .

Taboka and her mother, Ms. Qiniso Ndlovu, are in Cape Town, where doctors from the Red Cross hospital have carried out tests and a CT scan.

Taboka’s abdomen is too big and this has caused her to spend most of her time lying down due to the pain.
Speaking from Cape Town where they are staying with a relative, Ms Ndlovu said her daughter was in stable condition.

She was admitted to hospital last week for tests and has since been discharged pending the results.

“She is better and we are awaiting the results of the tests. They said they couldn’t just depend on the medical records we brought back from their homes, so they did new tests, ”Ms. Ndlovu said.

She said the surgeons will meet and decide on the way forward once the test results are released.

“They said his heart had one chamber instead of four. They gave him medicine to drain the fluids because his heart is too big. They have also given her supplements and vitamins to increase her weight so that she will be healthy when she has the operation. Words fail me to thank everyone who helped us, especially the pupils of Chinotimba Primary, ”she said.

Mr. Victor Sibanda, one of the teachers who coordinated the fundraiser, said the school managed to raise the required R30,000 after three supporters contributed with a combined USD 800 to add to the R13,000 raised. by learners.

“The donation from foreign tourists and a local was a welcome boost for the children’s initiative to help their colleague. The children and teachers at the school are eagerly awaiting Taboka’s return and we wish him a successful operation, ”said Mr. Sibanda. – @ncubeleon


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