Baby Ashleigh dies

2010-03-05 14:06

SOUTH Africa’s medical miracle baby has died.

Ashleigh Louw made medical history when a team of surgeons put her heart back into her chest 12 days after she was born with a rare congenital syndrome.

“Sadly, she has passed on,” said Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital clinical manager Dr Pungie Lingham.

He said she died around midday today, but would not reveal the cause of death for privacy reasons.

“Baby Ashleigh was very ill and she’s been in the intensive care unit under very intense management both medically and otherwise,” said Lingham.

Born on January 9, Ashleigh was operated on on January 17 after being born with her heart outside her chest, covered only by a thin layer of skin.

The condition is known as Pentalogy of Cantrell, which occurs in one in a million babies.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi sent his condolences to the family.

“Our prayers are with them during these difficult times. The loss of such a young life is painful to all of us,” said Motsoaledi.

He praised the medical team at the hospital for their work and contribution to “medical history”.

“I wish to pay tribute to the team that worked hard in trying to save the little life that we have just lost. I am aware that they were dealing with a very complicated and rare condition and there is no doubt that they have made medical history in our country,” said Motsoaledi.

“We are always encouraged by the dedication of our healthcare workers to do their utmost even under the trying circumstances such as those faced by our hospitals. We are very proud of them.”

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