KwaZulu-Natal nurse who saved miracle baby honoured

2016-11-18 15:27
A KwaZulu-Natal nurse was on Thursday honoured for her efforts which led to a ground-breaking surgery which saved an infant. The baby was named Simangaliso, which means miracle, after doctors drained fluid from the sac around his heart while he was still in his mother's stomach. Pic: Themba Mngomezulu, Department of Health. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

A KwaZulu-Natal nurse was on Thursday honoured for her efforts which led to a ground-breaking surgery which saved an infant. The baby was named Simangaliso, which means miracle, after doctors drained fluid from the sac around his heart while he was still in his mother's stomach. Pic: Themba Mngomezulu, Department of Health. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Durban – A KwaZulu-Natal nurse was on Thursday recognised for helping to ensure that an unborn baby got life-saving surgery.

To thank her, the provincial health department will give Primrose Steziah Goge a bursary so she can fulfill her lifelong dream of studying to become a doctor.

"She cried when we told her," MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said.

It all began on August 18, which started off as an ordinary day for Goge.

The 44-year-old sister finished tending to an expectant mother, when her next patient, Thandazile Ntethe, 29, walked into her office at the Shaka’s Kraal Clinic, north of Durban.

Goge said Ntethe was 28 weeks along when she arrived for her routine check-up.

The heartbeat of a foetus less than 28 weeks old is not usually monitored, but on this Thursday, Goge did so.

She was pleased to hear a heartbeat, but an additional sound concerned her.

"In my career as a midwife, I had never heard that sound before, so I took an advanced machine and the machine immediately picked up that something was wrong."

Goge performed an ultrasound scan and found the baby’s health was indeed at risk.

Rare disease

Ntethe was transferred to Stanger Hospital, but doctors were unable to make a diagnosis. She was referred to Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital.

"Specialists found that there was ventricular aneurysm. The fluid was leaking out of the baby’s heart muscle and doctors had to suck 30mm of fluid from the heart every Thursday, until the baby was born."

The rare disease affects about one-in-300 000 babies.

If it was not for Goge’s instincts, a groundbreaking surgical procedure could not have been performed by Dr Ismail Bhorat, head of the foetal surgical unit.

The surgery, called pericardiocentesis, involves using a needle and a tube to remove fluid from the sac around the heart.

"The baby was born almost a month ago. He was premature, but he is healthy and latching onto his mother’s nipple," Goge said.

Goge said on that day she was merely doing her job.

"I do believe that God intervened that day and that is the reason why the baby has been called Simangaliso (Miracle). He was indeed a miracle baby."

She encouraged her colleagues in the highly-strained healthcare sector to persevere.

"People must be determined because everything is recorded. God keeps all the records and he will elevate you when the time is right."

Dreams of becoming a doctor

Life had not always been easy for the mother of three who wanted to become a medical doctor. Her father died when she was six and her mother was unemployed. She said they were too poor to afford her studies and it would take too long.

"We grew up in Kranskop and I was lucky that I passed matric well and qualified for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, which allowed me to do my four-year degree in nursing at the University of KwaZulu-Natal."

She started working at Umlazi’s Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital and then went back home to work at Mpumelo Clinic.

In 2003, three years into her career, she was promoted to senior professional nurse.

She resigned from the position and joined the Stanger Hospital, where she worked for four years.

"I became the chief professional nurse there, but I resigned from that job because I wanted to put my children in private schools. I cashed out my pension and paid all my debts so that I could do that."

Goge took a R1 500 pay cut and had to start over at what was then Shaka’s Municipal Clinic.

Determined to make it back up, Goge went back to university and, in 2012, when government took over the running of the clinic, she was promoted to a senior position.

"I got a R6 000 salary increase. I have been here since then and have never looked back."

'Miracle baby'

Simangaliso went for a check-up at Stanger Hospital on Thursday.

Ntethe said he was growing. She was so grateful to Goge for saving him. He was her fourth child and she had never had complications before.

"I thought he was not going to make it. He is really a miracle baby."

Simangaliso was born at 37 weeks, but weighed a healthy 3kg.

Dhlomo said the case should serve as a reminder to healthcare workers to remain alert. Goge’s suspicion that something was wrong led to the baby being saved.

"Some of us just do what we have been taught by the textbook. But sometimes God intervenes. Here Goge followed her intuition."

Dhlomo urged other healthcare practitioners to learn from Goge.

"Never take your gift for granted, because you can save a life."

Read more on:    durban  |  health  |  good news

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.


For the love of Corgis!

WATCH: 35 Corgi's to make your day! If they’re good enough for the Queen of England they’re good enough for us.



Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.