Akhanani Magengeli is only eight but has already had three operations to correct congenital heart disease. And he will need to have at least one more in the future.
His mother, Polisa, said doctors were concerned when they saw a blue hue on his mouth and hands shortly after he was born. It turned out his blood was not pumping properly through his body.
Referred from Alice to paediatrician Dr Goosen at Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in Madantsane, he was slated to have his first operation at Red Cross in Cape Town after his first birthday in 2010. He had further operations in 2012 and 2014.
His mother says that despite his condition, he is a very active boy who exhibits no obvious problems as a result of his illness.
Polisa hopes the 2019 operation will be the last one, as doctors have suggested.