Doors of hope open for tiny tot with medical condition

CARED FOR: Thapelo Sfundza needs help. ©  Sowetan.
CARED FOR: Thapelo Sfundza needs help. © Sowetan.

Sakhile Mokoena

Sakhile Mokoena

Help is pouring in for Thapelo Sifundza, pictured, who was born with a severe condition that causes her head to swell.

After Sowetan published her story, the newspaper has received numerous calls from readers offering to help the little girl from Mpumalanga.

A reader from Gauteng said: "My daughter had the same problem. In October, she was operated on for free by a professor who is one of the best surgeons in the world.

"My daughter is now almost 10 months old and is doing very well," she said.

An organisation that wants to remain anonymous offered to help raise funds for the child's operation.

Thapelo's head started swelling when she was three months old and her unemployed mother did not know where to get help.

Her mother Busi Sifundza, 23, from Masibekela, near Komatipoort, in Mpumalanga, said she was unable to give her baby healthy food because she was unemployed and relied on government grants for her three children. The fathers of the children have disappeared.

The six-month-old baby girl was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a severe infection caused by the accumulation of fluids under the skull resulting in pressure the inside of the the head.

This pressure can result in brain damage, which would adversely affect the behaviour of the child.

It can also result in earlier-than-average puberty.

Treatment of hydrocephalus is surgical: a flexible tube is placed in the ventricular system to drain the excess fluid from the head to another part of the body where it can be absorbed.

Thapelo is now under the care of the African Door of Hope (ADOH), an organisation that looks after orphans and the victims of domestic violence in the Nkomazi region.

People who want to help Thapelo can contact the president of ADOH, Norman Sibitane, on 073-347-1732.