Baby Ash 'on her way to recovery'

ASHLEIGH Louw's health is improving each day, her doctors said yesterday.

Even though she is still in the intensive care unit at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital, doctors are optimistic she will be better soon.

"We have been closely monitoring her since her operation two weeks ago," said the hospital's clinical manager Dr Pungie Lingham.

"There has been a slight improvement. She is still in a critical but stable condition. She is now able to play with her legs and open her eyes. Her health will be reviewed again after a week or two and the doctors will decide if she has to be kept in the ICU or high care," Lingham said.

Baby Ashleigh was born early this month with her heart outside her chest wall. Her first operation to correct her physical defects last week was a success.

A second operation will be done after a month or two, depending on her condition.

Ashleigh's mother Anastacia Louw said: "My daughter is getting better each time I see her.

"Doctors tell me that she is very sick but I know that she will pull through.

"She is a fighter. She opened her eyes for the first time at the weekend and I was so happy I cried. It gave me hope that she was on her way to recovery," Louw said.

But Louw is worried that when Ashleigh comes home their shack will not beconducive to her recovery.

"The shack is too small. Already I am living with my other three children. With Ashleigh coming home we will need more space," she said. - Zinhle Mapumulo