Mom, ill heart baby reunited

Tiny Michael van Wyk finally makes it to Cape Town for heart op


After spending a night apart, one of Nelson Mandela Bay’s tiniest cardiac patients and his mom were finally reunited at the Red Cross Memorial Hospital in Cape Town on Friday evening.
Little Michael van Wyk, weighing barely 2kg, was scheduled to fly to Cape Town on Thursday morning but the Eastern Cape health department’ specialist air ambulance, Aeromed 2, had to turn around at George because of bad weather.
His mom, Talitha Kruger, 22, was already in Cape Town waiting for him.
She was flown there on Thursday morning by Wings and Wishes, an organisation assisting parents and children who have to travel for medical treatment.
Michael could not be flown on a commercial aircraft due to his fragile condition.
After he suffered two heart attacks, several bad infections and a life-threatening episode on Sunday, Kruger said she could not wait to get her baby to the hospital.
“I am on my way to meet him there,” she said on Friday afternoon.
Just before 2pm on Friday the aircraft from Aerocare landed at the Port Elizabeth International Airport.
It was met by an ambulance and the specialist incubator for Michael was handed over to medics from the Eastern Cape health department.
Head of Emergency Medical Services Brenhan Metune confirmed that Michael was scheduled to fly out on Friday afternoon and land in Cape Town at around 6pm.
Michael was born with a huge hole in his heart and Kruger has desperately been trying to get him the help he needs.
However, her quest has been one fraught with tension as the catheterisation laboratory (cathlab) at Port Elizabeth’s Provincial Hospital had been non-functional since his birth.
Michael suffers from a condition called atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD) – a heart defect in which there are holes between the chambers of the right and left sides of the heart, and the valves that control the flow of blood between these chambers may not be formed correctly.This is putting him at high risk of heart failure.So far, he has had to battle sepsis and a collapsed lung.As no interventions could be done locally, all doctors could do was keep him alive at the intensive care unit at Dora Nginza Hospital.On Sunday, Michael’s heart started beating abnormally fast at 300 beats a minute and he had to be placed back on a ventilator to help him breathe.By Thursday he was well enough to fly to Cape Town, but then the helicopter had to turn back.Eastern Cape health department spokesperson Lwandile Sicwetsha said the department had managed to get a new service provider, Aerocare, to transport the baby on Friday.“There were delays with the current service provider and we were really anxious to expedite the transportation of the child on Friday,” he said.

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