Mpho Tutu delivers early Christmas treats for moms, premature babies

2015-12-11 20:46
Mpho Tutu, Sophia hendriks and baby Cayden. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Mpho Tutu, Sophia hendriks and baby Cayden. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town – Christmas came early for the mothers of premature babies at the Tygerberg Children's Hospital on Friday when the Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu came to visit, bearing gifts and treats.

Tutu and a team from the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation visited the government hospital’s neonatal ward, where the Arch’s daughter spent hours playing with the premature babies and chatting to their mothers.

She handed over presents to the new parents and also opened a refurbished dining area, funded with the proceeds from an auction that was part of her mother’s recent birthday celebrations.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah are patrons of Tygerberg Hospital, which the reverend hailed as a top-class facility.

"The work done in this unit specifically is wonderful," she said.

"Seeing these beautiful babies survive is a miracle of modern medicine. Twenty to 30 years ago, they would not be with us, but through a combination of skill and practical genius we’re able to see them here today. It’s amazing.

"Three decades ago, the women in this ward would have had a miserable Christmas. Instead, they are able to hold and spend time with their babies – the real little miracles."

Lesme Moses, 22, from Elsies River, spoke softly to her baby Faith, who at almost three weeks still fits in her mother’s hand.

"I carried her for just over six months. I was forced to go into labour because she had an irregular heartbeat," Moses said.

"They gave her a 50% chance of survival. But she showed them – Faith is small, but strong."

'She is my Christmas angel'

Moses will spend Christmas at the hospital, as Faith is likely to be discharged only in February.

"But I don’t mind at all," Moses said. "She is my Christmas gift and all that I need. There’s no greater present than watching her grow."

Sukiswa Philiso, 24, from Strand, holds two-week-old Esihle tightly to her chest.

"I am sure she can feel how much she is loved," she said. "Her daddy comes to visit her every day and I am with her around the clock. She is my Christmas angel."

Philiso went into early labour as a result of high blood pressure.

"Esihle came early, but I am glad she’s here. It’s not easy to live in a hospital, but it’s alright. I am with her."

Christmas would be bearable because she and the other mothers had become like family, Philiso said.

"So, in a way, we will be spending the festive season with people we have come to know and love. They are like my relatives now."

Read more on:    tygerberg hospital  |  mpho tutu  |  desmond tutu  |  cape town  |  good news  |  healthcare

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