Cardiac Partnership ensures Life-saving Surgery for 50 Patients
Eleven-year-old Dale Martiens, from Delft, is able to run, exercise and live a relatively normal life after undergoing cardiac surgery at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital earlier this month.
Apart from a large hole between the pumping chambers of his heart, he had severe narrowing of the arteries to his lungs. This resulted in lack of oxygen, causing blueness and poor effort tolerance, which hindered him from walking easily or exercising. Without corrective surgery (a Tetralogy of Fallot), he had a vastly reduced life-expectancy.
Fifty children have received live-saving cardiac surgery and a new lease on life, thanks to a partnership between the Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Foundation (WSPCF), the Vodacom Foundation and the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.
Through the partnership, which commenced in November 2015, 50 cardiac surgical procedures have been done and the stakeholders would like to continue this collaboration into 2017.
The funding provided by the WSPCF covers some staff costs, as well as some cardiac surgical supplies and has increased the hospital’s capacity to perform cardiac surgery and has enabled them to significantly increase the number of cardiac operations done since November 2015, thus helping the hospital in getting closer to meeting the demands placed on the service.
Although there are several factors that contribute to the length of the waiting list and the estimated waiting period, the partnership has had a significant impact. Patients waiting for cardiac surgery have decreased from over 200 to a constant of approximately 120 (approximately 5 months waiting time).
"The Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Foundation is proud to be part of this incredible project with the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital. We are most grateful to our sponsor and long-standing partner, Vodacom Foundation, who has been with us since the inception of the project and made this all possible. The impact on the lives of the children and their families is truly immeasurable. The WSPCF looks forward to a continued and growing partnership going forward”, says Tumi Sisulu, Acting CEO of the Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Foundation.
The WSPCF is the largest philanthropic paediatric cardiac centre on the African continent, established as a living legacy to the late Walter Sisulu, which focuses on the delivery of life-saving cardiac surgery and intervention for underprivileged children from across Africa.
The Vodacom Foundation is a valued partner of the WSPCF and works closely with them to provide funding to save children’s hearts.
“The WSPCF partnership with Red Cross Children’s Hospital has made a significant impact not only on the lives of the children assisted, but also on the ongoing work carried out by the hospital on a daily basis. All children deserve the chance to reach their full potential in life and we are privileged to partner the hospital in helping these youngsters. This is in line with Vodacom’s purpose of connecting people to live a better today and build a better tomorrow”, says the Executive Head for Vodacom Foundation, Mthobeli Tengimfene.
“Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital is the provincial centre for paediatric cardiac surgery attached to the University of Cape Town. Together, we are extremely thankful to the Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Foundation and their sponsor, Vodacom, for partnering with us to allow our staff to change the lives of so many children with cardiac conditions. These children may otherwise still have been on a waiting list. We look forward to a continued collaboration with them”, says Dr Anita Parbhoo, Medical Manager at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.