Born prematurely, little Faith was diagnosed with a very rare condition known as hypogammaglobulinemia, which is a problem with the immune system where not enough gamma globulins are produced in the blood. She has a severely compromised immune system and has suffered regular bouts of pneumonia and even contracted meningitis in her first few days and later tuberculosis in her kidneys, suffering for months as the doctors gave her adult medication as there was no children's TB medication in the country. From the very moment she drew her first breath, she struggled and fought to stay alive.
As a close friend of her mom, I have watched how much they have struggled since she was born, especially since her mother is raising her alone on one income. Little Faith's dad decided to leave when her mother was still pregnant as he didn't want to be burdened with a sick girlfriend and child. Her mother had a very difficult pregnancy and did everything in her power to keep her baby and make it to full term, despite doctors urging her to abort for her own health concerns.
Living in a country like South Africa, medical insurance is often very expensive and Little Faith sees so many specialists from university hospitals and has doctors from abroad weighing in on her health concerns. These bills have become far too expensive for her mother to maintain. She often spends so much time in hospital with her daughter that she recently lost her small writing business and is now unemployed. I know her mom so well, and she is the kind of woman who will do anything and everything for her child, and has worked 7 days a week since she was born to make sure her daughter receives the medical attention she needs.
Little Faith needs specialised medical care that her mother is unable to afford and urgently needs financial assistance to continue with much-needed treatment throughout the winter months. The condition that she has is life threatening and she has spent weeks on end in ICU battling viruses that her immune system cannot fight alone. The longer her condition goes without the right kind of medical care, the higher risk she is at for potential damage to her organs, leading to severe complications. She has already suffered some lung damage from repeated pulmonary infections.
She needs to undergo a new type of gene therapy which will greatly improve the strength of her immune system, though because it is experimental, the medical insurance companies refuse to pay for it. Despite being endorsed by her doctors and the European Medicines Agency.
I appeal to anyone who is a parent or knows how difficult it is to raise a child alone, let alone a very sick one, to please help my friend and her daughter get through the next few months. I know her mom is a very proud woman who would never ask for help, but I need to do this as I alone am unable to assist them financially.
Much Love SJ xx