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The Michaels Family Share their CHD Journey

Our journey began in October 2020 with a routine checkup with Kenzo`s paediatrician at Garden City Hospital. Kenzo was 6 months old when his paediatrician discovered a heart murmur and wasn’t happy with the sound and referred us to a paediatric cardiologist, Dr Sinyangwe, at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital.

On arrival they did an ECG on Kenzo and thereafter Dr Sinyangwe examined him and explained to us that Kenzo had a heart defect an enlarged Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). Which is a hole in the wall separating the lower two chambers of his heart. His heart was overworked and that was the reason Kenzo had not been able to gain weight. We were devastated and wanted to know how his little heart would be repaired. Dr Sinyangwe said it would be done by open heart surgery. He explained that the procedure needed to be performed urgently as Kenzo might have lung failure due to the amount of blood pumping through his lungs and because of the face that his heart was being overworked. At that moment it felt as if the world came crashing down on us. Dr Sinyangwe immediately called cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr Erich Schürmann, and arranged for Kenzo’s surgery. We felt lost. Knowing that our boy had to undergo such a huge operation was scary. The night before Kenzo’s open heart surgery we met with Dr Schürmann and Kenzo’s anaesthetist, Dr Krishnee Naidoo. They explained the whole procedure to us and both Dr Schürmann and Dr Naidoo assured us that he was going to be fine; that everything would be a success. As Kenzo’s parents we could only hold on to the promises of God and put our faith in God. 20 October 2020 was the day he went for surgery. Handing him over to Dr Naidoo was the scariest feeling I have ever experienced. As I opened my phone a scripture popped up and it was Jeremiah 29 Vs 11: “For, I know the plans I have for KENZO plans not to harm him but to give him hope for the future” and it was as if I drew strength from that scripture. Dr Naidoo informed us on the progress of the procedure. This was a lifesaver as Kenzo was in theatre for four hours and during this time we spent time in prayer and bread breaking. It was excruciating but our family remained by our side throughout and my husband, Kevin, was my biggest support throughout. The surgery was successful and Kenzo was in CTICU for seven days. We are immensely and forever grateful to God for the healing of our baby. We are deeply thankful for Dr Schurmann, Dr Sinyangwe, Dr Naidoo, and Dr Singh and all the nursing staff. Kenzo is now 2 ½ years old, and he is a healthy boy with no complications.


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