HEALTH Minister Aaron Motsoaledi yesterday praised the medical team taking care of baby Ashleigh at the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital.
Motsoaledi visited the baby yesterday after her three-hour operation on Sunday.
Ashleigh was born with her heart outside her chest wall 10 days ago. She underwent her first operation to correct her physical defects.
The operation was a success and the little girl's heart is now inside her chest cavity. She remains in the intensive care unit.
Accompanied by Social Development Minister Edna Molewa and Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu, the minister said the baby was in good hands.
After seeing the baby, Motsoaledi said: "Had I not known that Ashleigh was born with her heart outside her chest I would not have believed it.
"The only thing showing on her tiny chest is a scar. We are told by her doctors that she is still in a critical but stable condition. We are hopeful that she will recover because she is getting the best medical care.
"Doctors at this hospital (Bara) have dealt with far worse cases. It's just that they do not publicise it.
"Chris Hani-Baragwanath has some of the best cardiologists in this country. We also have state-of-the-art equipment to deal with this kind of situation.
"The rumour that we lack skills to help her is wrong. We are appealing to the media to tone it down and say what is right."
Motsoaledi was not the only one who felt the media was making the situation look worse than it was.
The head of the hospital's neo-natal unit, Sithembiso Velaphi, echoed his sentiments. "I wish we could have managed Baby Ashleigh's situation without involving the media.
"We would have cared for her the same way we are doing but with less publicity and wrong information.
"Her mother Anastacia (Louw) feels the same way. The publicity around her child is too much for her."