13-year-old gets a second chance at life

2016-12-22 09:23


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Johannesburg - Thirteen-year-old Emlynn Singh will spend her Christmas celebrating like any other child after undergoing the first children's heart transplant ever performed at the Maboneng Heart Institute. 

She is one of only a handful of paediatric patients in South Africa to undergo a heart transplant.

“We had become desperately concerned about Emlynn’s well-being and constantly feared that her heart would fail during that time. She was completely lacking in energy and could hardly get around without feeling drained and exhausted," Emlynn’s mother, Penelope Singh said. 

Singh said the difference after her daughter's heart transplant is incredible. "She is her old chatty, energetic self and is able to see a future for herself once more. She says she wants to climb Table Mountain, do pottery, learn to cook and pursue her longstanding interest in astronomy. We as a family are thankful and thrilled that she can come home, and be with us in time for the holidays.” 

Dr Viljee Jonker, who led the transplant team, said that successful paediatric cardiac transplantation is only made possible through an experienced multi-disciplinary team, from the heart transplant co-ordinators, who facilitate and co-ordinate the acquisition of a matching donor heart, to the surgical team and its support staff including the nursing staff.

Singh said Emlynn would never have survived without this donor heart and has now been given another chance at life.

"The donor’s family were exceptionally brave, their sacrifice is beyond my comprehension. They have the eternal thanks of myself, my husband and my other three children who adore their sister,” she added.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  health

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