The biggest challenge that parents of children with congenital heart conditions report is “the fear of not knowing”. Once they are in the system and doctors have taken time to counsel them on their child’s condition and what the available treatments are, the fear mostly evaporates.
That is evidenced by Unathi Febane’s story of her daughter Kahlelwa’s diagnosis and treatment.
Kahlelwa, now 14-months-old, was diagnosed at birth with transposition of the arteries. At one month, she was admitted to Red Cross for a corrective procedure.
“I was so stressed. I was very scared,” says Unathi, adding quickly: “But now I’m not scared because I know what is happening to my child. A lot of people don’t know what’s happening.”
Parents at the cardiac clinics at both Frere and CMH spoke knowledgeably of their child’s condition and treatment.