After an initial mis-diagnosis concerning a lump on her backbone, little 6-month old Wafiya from Paarl was rushed to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital for urgent spinal surgery, surgery that saved her from developing numerous illnesses and, more importantly, saved her from being permanently paralysed.
The doctors diagnosed that the growth on her backbone was cancerous and in a very dangerous position, placing pressure on her spinal cord. They explained to her devastated family that Wafiya would require immediate surgery to remove the tumour to prevent paralysis, clap-feet, uncontrolled bowl-movements and many other illnesses that are connected to the spinal nerve.
When she entered the procedure room with her entire family, the Paarl community was praying for this sensitive and complicated surgery to be successful. After over 4 hours in theatre, the doctors brought good news to those who love and care for her. The days following the surgery were very stressful too as the doctors had placed restrictions on any physical movement of their little patient and much to Wafiya’s frustration, she was bound to her hospital bed with a high dose of pain medication.
As Wafiya and her family face the unknown future, she will be monitored very closely by the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital as the cancerous tumour could regrow, causing permanent damage to her spine.