Baby Mienke’s operation successful, her dad says

2018-11-16 13:27
Mienke Mulder. (Photo: Facebook/PLEASE PRAY FOR MIENKE)

Mienke Mulder. (Photo: Facebook/PLEASE PRAY FOR MIENKE)

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The four-hour operation on one-year-old Mienke Mulder this week will hopefully drastically improve her quality of life, says her dad, Ryno.

The operation on Mienke, who in August last year nearly died after choking on milk at her daycare, was done on Wednesday in a Gauteng hospital.

The aim was to lengthen the ligaments in her legs because they’d not been developing properly the past few months, her dad explains.

The choking incident had left Mienke suffering from cerebral palsy. She can’t speak or eat. Ryno says though Mienke’s recovery has now been set back because she has to spend a number of months with her legs in casts, the operation was a success.

“I’m on my way to fetch my darling,” an emotional Ryno tells us.

“We hadn’t expected this – we’d thought the recovery process [from the operation] would take a lot longer. I’d only just arrived in Middelburg [where he works and lives during the week], but now I’ll have to turn around to fetch my child.”

Because Mienke isn’t mobile, her ligaments hadn’t developed as they should have and that’s why she needed the operation.

“Doctors explained that ligaments usually develop with exercise – in other words when kids walk, play and stretch. But because Mienkies can’t move much, her ligaments didn’t grow and that’s had a number of effects on her health over the past few months.

“When she has fits, tension is created in her legs but because they can’t straighten due to the shortened ligaments, that tension is transferred upwards in her body. Usually it results in her hips dislocating.

“But that’s something of the past now and we’re grateful,” Ryno says.

It’s hoped that the end result for Mienke is more flexibility. Ryno says though there are no signs their youngest daughter will ever lead a normal life, they pray she’ll make a full recovery.

“No one really wants to give us hope – it’s an incredibly heavy responsibility to give someone hope that might never transpire.

“But we’re living with our little girl – we see how she’s improving. As parents we can’t just sit back and wallow in self-pity about this thing that’s happened to us. We have to fight for our child, even if there’s only the tiniest chance.

“There hasn’t been a day in the past tumultuous year that I hadn’t wanted to sacrifice my 32 healthy years on Earth to give my child new life. That’s why I’m fighting for her every day – it’s all we have.”

Read more on:    operation  |  mienke mulder  |  baby
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