Baby Annachelle’s sight

Update posted by Andrew Botha On Mar 28, 2021

Firstly I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this

We were given a beautiful gift on the 26th August 2020, A beautiful little girl which we named Annachelle.

This little bundle of joy was born during a really troubling part of our lives, nonetheless we are her proud parents.

We are not on a medical aid and my Wife can’t give natural birth. We were referred by the clinic to approach the Johannesburg General Hospital. We went back and forth to the hospital seeing various doctors and were finally given a date that my Wife needed to book in. On the day she was not attended to immediately. She was left in the waiting room on a drip with nothing to eat or drink until a bed became available. This was around 17h30. It took another few hours before she could have anything to eat or drink.

The Doctors were unable to tell her when the caesarian section would be performed. For just short of one week, daily, my wife would be on nil per mouth in the hope that the Doctors would be able to do the procedure. Then on the 26th August 2020 our beautiful bundle of joy was born.

During the course of Late January 2021 we noticed that Annachelle was not able to focus correctly on people or items.

We started with the usual beg and borrow to have her seen by DR Botha from Optimed.

On our consultation the doctor raised the following concerns

1)Potential PHPV

2)Scar tissue at the rear of the eyes

3)Potential growth behind the right eye

4)Zero to minimal sight in the left eye

Doctors prognosis was to have baby firstly undergo a MRI for the growth and then proceed to diagnose and look at ways forward for baby. The doctor provided a request for the MRI.

Unfortunately, we are not in the financial position to do the MRI in a private hospital. Hence, we proceeded to the Johannesburg General Hospital.

After several days of sitting and waiting to get into the MRI room, we produced the Doctors recommendations. This is where it gets complicated.

After waiting and sitting patiently we were turned away from the MRI department due to the request not being from the Johannesburg General Ophthalmologists.

Of course, we immediately started the process at the Johannesburg General Hospital to see the Ophthalmologist.

The queuing process was started on the 18th March 2021. We were able to see the doctors later that afternoon and advised they are unable to recommend a MRI but would suggest a CAT scan.

We were in the queue the whole day for baby to have the CAT scan. Annachelle, had her last meal at 4am that morning and was not allowed to eat or drink until the CAT scan had been completed. Later on that afternoon we were advised that the scan could not be done and that we need to come back and, another date was given.

We had to adhere to Covid regulations and, had to be tested again on Sunday Morning the 21st March 2020. Once the test results came back negative we were given the date of Tuesday 23rd March for the Doctor to examine baby in theater. Again, on Tuesday the 23rd March, Annachelle was not allowed anything to eat or drink until she was examined in theatre. As we all know not feeding a 7 month old baby for the whole day is challenging as there natural instinct is to cry or become difficult because they are hungry or thirsty and, they do not understand.

The procedure was done in theatre and we had to return for the diagnosis on Wednesday 24th March. In all this time family and friends had been assisting with petrol money to drive to and from the hospital. Our financial situation is tough and we barely survive. My Wife and I were both retrenched in 2018 and finding work was unsuccessful.

I then decided to start my own company. My companies name is Anker Financial Services as, all my experience lays in short term insurance. The company started gradually picking up. My Wife, Michelle found temping work in 2019 and was made permanent staff that year. Michelle had to take a salary cut and earns 1/3 of what she did. As you can imagine, the financial implications on a family. But, we needed to make the sacrifices to survive. Later on that year we made a move from our house into a flat to try and financially survive.

My Son, was in matric that year and my daughter was in Grade 9. The changes were made and we started slowly coming right.

The year 2020 came about and Covid happened and put us straight back to where we were. Clients were cancelling their policies as finances weren’t there and people needed to live. This had a dramatic impact on our financial situation. Thereby, putting us on the back foot. So, when Annachelle was born and her medical condition presented itself we had no funds to get her treatment and we have exhausted all possibilities of getting the necessary treatment for our baby.

We returned to the Johannesburg General on the 24th March 2020 and the prognosis/diagnosis was that baby was blind and had only a portion to no retina.

They did no scans as they did not find anything life threatening and would not proceed with the CAT scan or MRI that was recommended by the eye Specialist Dr. Botha.

The best explanation they were able to give is there is nothing further that can be done and that Annachelle would lose any form of sight due to PHPV.

As, Annachelle’s parent we are finding it impossible to accept as the initial MRI that was requested was not performed. Two contradicting outcomes. The scan was marked as urgent as Dr. Botha needed to establish what the mass is behind Annachelle’s right eye and then recommend a course of treatment. As parents accepting that your child is going to lose all sight is heartbreaking. I have read up on PHPV and, there are various forms of treatment. In most of the instances the patients that were treated were able to gain some or most of the vision back.

Getting the MRI Scan done is completely out of our reach and this makes us feel helpless. Any available money that we have at the moment goes to formula and nappies for the baby. My wife and I a humbly requesting any assistance for the MRI Scan to be performed so, that we can get our baby girl the right course of treatment and a fighting chance at a normal life.

Please see attached the recommendation letter from the eye specialist for your kind perusal.

Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact either my Wife Michelle of myself Andrew.

Kind Regards,

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Andrew Botha

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