Benjamin van der Westhuizen is our little Hydro warrior who was born on July 10th 2017 at 31 weeks gestation with a weight of 1, 52 kg.
At 20 weeks during the pregnancy, hydrocephalus (an extra large volume of fluid in the brain), was diagnosed and we were advised to terminate the pregnancy. We knew that God had a greater plan, so we placed our trust in Him and kept our faith.
Many blood tests, an amniocentesis, numerous MRIs and a lot of doctors appointments followed. They predicted a number of defects including Down's syndrome, but the tests resulted in no abnormalities of the chromosomes. This was the beginning of Benji’s miracles.
After birth, however, his diagnosis worsened. There was a large arachnoid cyst formed in his brain and a big portion of brain tissue was found to be absent. This was devastating news for us, but we kept on praying and begging God for His mercy.
We had so many questions but the doctors weren’t able to predict Benjamin's future neurological or physical ability. This frightened us to death.
A cardiologist who examined him routinely then diagnosed an opening in his heart as well as a narrowing of the aorta, which was going to need surgical repair. The prognosis was very bad at this stage. We continued to pray alongside Benjamin's bed where he spent 5 weeks in the neonatal ICU, our hearts were completely broken.
The doctors then continued to predict that Benjamin would not be able to hear or see, but tests showed positive results and we praised God with grateful hearts for every bit of grace we received. The miracles continued. We took Benjamin for a follow up heart sonar and the defects were completely gone!! What a miracle!!
Benjamin spent 2 weeks at home, after being discharged, before he was admitted again for emergency surgery. He underwent a 3 hour long brain operation on 1 September 2017 during which the neurosurgeon created an opening in the cyst to allow for normal drainage of the fluid. Initially it looked successful, but by the end of September, he was admitted again. His head started growing drastically again and he underwent another surgery during which a VP shunt was inserted.
A few months passed and Benjamin was doing well at home until he showed signs of a shunt failure in March 2018. He was again admitted and underwent another surgery.
Since then Benjamin was in hospital twice: for pneumonia and for a viral infection. The shunt is working well, even though we dread that it might block or get infected at any time that Benjamin acts out of the ordinary.
Only God's grace and the prayers of many beloved people had carried us this far and we beg that everyone continues to pray with us for complete healing for Benjamin. Nothing is impossible with God and we will keep on holding on to the promises in His Word.
We just celebrated Benjamin’s 1st Birthday, and although he is very behind with all his milestones, he has already overcome all the negative predictions. He is such a happy child!
He is struggling with his head control, cannot sit, crawl or walk yet, but we really hope to become more able to increase his therapy sessions and other treatments that he requires.
We have learned to be patient and to celebrate every little milestone like being able to grasp objects or laughing, hearing and seeing... The things that are so easily taken for granted.
We would love to see him continue to overcome his obstacles and touch people’s lives all over the world.
Please assist us if you feel it suitable in your hearts. God bless!