LEAH Goss is on her way to being the first South African recipient of an Australian doctor’s first bladder reconstructive surgery this month after being born with bladder exstrophy, the protrusion of the urinary bladder through a defect in the abdominal wall.The five-year-old was born with the defect that was not picked up during her mother Chantelle’s, pregnancy. After undergoing major surgery just after she was born in an attempt to repair the defect, Leah was left with a protrusion in her abdomen, which led to urine leaking from her body and has been confined to nappies for the rest of her life. Her condition has now affected her kidneys that are overworking to compensate for her issue, and, because they are overworked, sometimes do not filter her urine properly, resulting in her urine burning her. “She was born with just parts of her bladder, but nothing functional. In September last year we took her to a doctor in Bloemfontein who thought he would be able to help repair her bladder, but when he got in [the child] he told us that things didn’t look good and he wasn’t able to do the operation.“He told us about Doctor Paddy Dewan, a specialist in bladder exstrophy in Australia. Our doctor emailed him and he [Dewan] made contact with us and agreed to come to South Africa to perform the surgery.“All our medical bills are covered because the hospital and doctors in Bloemfontein are helping us out. We do, however, need money for the doctor’s accommodation and our travel to the hospital,” said Chantelle. She added the family needs to travel by car to Bloemfontein and cannot take the bus because of Leah’s comfort after the procedure is complete. The Goss family need R10 000 to cover their main expenses and are appealing to the public as their last hope to assist them in any way to raise the funds. “This is our last hope. We are desperate. We hope the public will open their hearts. This surgery is guaranteed to help Leah, we are doing this for her, we just want to be able to give her the chance to have a normal life,” said Chantelle. Leah and her parents Norman and Chantelle are expected to leave for Bloemfontein on 22 February for her surgery to take place on 27 February at 7am. The surgery is expected to last about eight hours. For more information, or to help, contact Chantelle on 074 018 3751.