Baby with rare heart condition beats all odds

2013-09-06 00:00

WHEN Siphosakhe Zondi was born in Pietermaritzburg on March 19, doctors discovered that only half her heart was fully developed. If doctors had not picked it up at her birth, she would not be alive today.

Now five months old, Siphosakhe is on a long road to recovery, and is going strong. She was born with a rare congenital condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition that leads to poor blood circulation and heart failure. Monica Zondi, Siphosakhe’s mother, decided she would do whatever it took to ensure her baby’s survival.

“I had a normal pregnancy. Everything was fine. I went for my check-ups with the gynaecologist, but it was not picked up. When she was born she couldn’t breathe normally and was rushed into ICU. I didn’t even get a chance to hold her,” said Zondi.

Paediatrician Dr Raksha Takoordeen was called in to assess baby Siphosakhe, who she said appeared to have been in “respiratory distress”.

“Siphosakhe required immediate respiratory support and a few hours after birth, a cardiac murmur was detected. An echocardiogram immediately confirmed this. It’s amazing that Siphosakhe had made it thus far as the condition, if left undetected and untreated, leads to death within the first 24 hours of the child’s life,” she said.

Baby Siphosakhe was then rushed to Sunninghill hospital in Johannesburg by helicopter. Two days after her Caesarean and still in pain, Zondi had to check herself out of hospital and drive with her husband to Johannesburg where her baby was.

“I was devastated when my baby was airlifted to Johannesburg, as I was uncertain whether [she] would survive … In Joburg the doctor told us that this was one of the worst cases of hypoplastic left heart syndrome and her chances are very slim.”

Takoordeen adds: “She has done well since her initial operation and is growing into a bubbly little baby beyond all expectations.”

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. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

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.