Boy born without penis excited over medical trip to Cape Town

2015-05-25 16:36
Surgeons carry out the world's first successful penis transplant. (Stellenbosch University)

Surgeons carry out the world's first successful penis transplant. (Stellenbosch University)

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Cape Town - A 5-year-old North-West boy who was born without external genitals is excited to make his first trip to Cape Town next month where he will undergo tests to determine his urinary function so a paediatric urologist can recommend the best way forward.

His mother told News24 on Monday that her son had never flown before and it was all he was talking about, even though the Rustenburg family had not yet decided whether to drive or fly.

“He says ‘My tollie is siek’ and that he is going to Cape Town to be in the sea and get a new one,” she said.

He loves the fictional superhero Spider-Man and often wears the children’s version of the superhero's costume. His Spider-Man soft toy will be at his side on the trip, along with his 7-year-old brother and parents.

The boy was born with a rare birth defect called epispadias. His urethra did not fully develop, meaning he had to pass urine from a hole in his groin area.

Now, after several operations, the boy is able to urinate through a specially inserted tube, but this breaks often and results in serious bladder infections.

“He’s had two infections in this last month and they gave him antibiotics, but he had a reaction [to them]. He called himself 'spotty' because there were small spots all over his body.

“At this stage, he needs an operation on his bladder and construction as well as to insert a new tube…”

His urologist in Pretoria referred him to Dr John Lazarus, a paediatric urologist at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town.

Lazarus is set to draw up a plan of action once the boy arrives in Cape Town at the end of next month and undergoes several tests.

The mother has also been in contact with Professor Andre van der Merwe, the urologist from the University of Stellenbosch who earlier this year performed the world's first successful penis transplant.

The boy’s mother says she often reassures the child. “We haven’t told him that he is not normal at this stage. We tell him that he will get bigger. I don’t want him to feel there is something wrong.”

Many people had offered to donate money after reading about her son’s condition on News24.

The mother said she was aware of these offers but that she was trying to organise their finances because donations were not guaranteed.

But she had sought the assistance of a lawyer, who recommended she set up a bank account in her son’s name and give the power of attorney to a third party.

Read more on:    cape town  |  health
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