Baby Mienke’s parents worried about mysterious swelling

Mienke and Verna. (Photo: Faceook/PLEASE PRAY FOR MIENKE)
Mienke and Verna. (Photo: Faceook/PLEASE PRAY FOR MIENKE)

Mienke, the baby from Mbombela (Nelspruit) who last year suffered brain damage after choking on her milk, faces a new challenge.

Mienke Mulder’s story touched the hearts of many when she choked on her milk on 25 August last year while in the care of her day mother. She sustained serious brain damage and is still unable to eat, swallow, sit upright or hold anything. Mienke turns two in January.

Now a new challenge has emerged.

“Her body swells terribly. The doctors don’t know why but she’s so swollen it gets hard to bend her knees. She struggles to breathe and sometimes she’s just unhappy,” her mother, Verna, tells YOU.

“It literally happened overnight.”

Mienke chokes on her own spit and sometimes stops breathing because she can’t swallow. She receives food through a tube.

“She’s extremely irritable. I feel so sorry for her. I remember how swollen I got during pregnancy – and she’s 10 times more swollen. Her body feels hot to the touch,” Verna says.

The family of five moved back to Benoni, on Gauteng’s East Rand, after Mienke’s accident.

Doctors have performed all kinds of blood tests and examined her heart but they’re struggling to pinpoint the cause of the swelling. “We’re doing urine tests now as well,” Verna says.

The family can only pray the cause will be discovered soon.

“But we have new hope. Mienke’s neurologist told us of intensive therapy in India that might work. The therapy is for people with brain injuries and apparently the results so far are promising. But we need about R500 000 to send Mienke. We’re hoping to do it by the end of the year,” the young mom adds.


“Her Wednesday therapy alone costs R3 500,” she says.

Mienke’s supporters on her Facebook page, Please Pray for Mienke, send daily messages of support and encouragement. The fund created for Mienke’s medical care now also sells perfume in an effort to cover costs.

Mienke Mulder

The family remains staunchly positive. “I’ll do anything for my children,” Verna says.

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