Lilani Coetzee is a single mother of two boys, one of whom has extensive health problems due to being born premature.
Little Kristiaan was born at just 29 weeks and miraculously survived 32 days in the NICU, several blood transfusions and infections - he was clearly determined to live.
Four years later he is a healthy little boy, but he still struggles with hearing and speech issues.
Parent24 spoke to Lilani to get a better understanding of his situation.
The longest day of my life
Lilani explained that she had a very difficult pregnancy and that when she went for the first scan she was told by the doctor that the scan showed Kristiaan's body was deformed, and there was little or no brain activity.
"I refused to accept that and demanded a second opinion. That day so many of our friends and family prayed while we were waiting for the next consultation. This day felt like the longest day of my life."
"We went in for second opinion and the doctor explained the whole process, and that he would be doing more tests."
The second scan showed a perfectly formed little boy and there was brain activity this time, she said. A miracle!
Even though that was the case, the doctor told Lilani that more tests were required.
Amniotic fluid was drawn for testing to see if there were any genetic problems, and six stressful weeks later the results came back: Kristiaan was completely healthy!
Lilani tells us that at just 29 weeks Kristian was born weighing only 1.2 kg. He was not breathing, and was admitted to the neonatal ICU where he and Lilani stayed for 32 days.
Thankfully, he pulled through.
A plea for help
Although Kristiaan is healthy and stronger now, he still cannot speak properly or hear clearly and needs a bilateral hearing aid to help him to reach these milestones.
The mom of two has no medical aid and is unable to afford the R40 000 bilateral hearing aid, so she has taken to Backabuddy to ask for donations, with a target of R100 000.
Lilani explains that there are other additional costs such as Kristiaan going for other tests and MRI scans; and then finally going for occupational and speech therapy to learn how to speak afterwards.
As a single mom she is currently working hard to help her child to be able to hear and speak fluently.
Learn more about how you can support Lilani and Kristiaan here: Backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/lilani-coetzee.
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