NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3 – In July 2015, Baby Bhakita was five months, two weeks old. Her life looked dull. Her parents were worried to the point of hopelessness for a daughter with a complex heart condition.
Her doctor had said she had only six months to live – meaning that at the time we met her, she had only two weeks to live if she didn’t get a heart surgery for her fragile condition.
“We were told she would first turn blue because organs would collapse and then she would die,” her terrified mother Terry told Capital News as she wept.
People from within and outside Kenya overwhelmingly and positively responded to Baby Bhakita’s appeal and raised the Sh1.5 million required for her surgery in India.
One year and several months have passed since then.
Capital FM News on Wednesday decided to check on Baby Bhakita.
She is now one year, eight months old.
Despite her delicate heart condition, Bhakita is a bubbly and an outgoing child.
“Like you can see, she is growing normally because of the medication she has been taking. She has all the teeth -12 of them, she is walking, she is eating, I think she is growing like any other normal child,” her mum explained.
Bhakita was quite playful during the interview. She mostly played with her mum’s phone playing song after song.
At some point she was even dancing to one of the songs.
According to her mum, Bhakita has been on medication prescribed when she went to India in July last year.
Though she hoped Bhakita would undergo the surgery in July 2015 when they went to India for the first time, doctors prescribed medicine to shrink pressure on her heart for the next one year and also give her time to acquire at least 10 kgs.
“After attaining these 10 kgs, she will now not add anymore kilos because of thyroid imbalance until she undergoes the surgery. Right now her growth is stagnated,” she explained.
Thyroid refers to ‘a large ductless gland in the neck that secretes hormones regulating growth and development through the rate of metabolism’.
At the age of four months, doctors discovered that Bhakita had one heart valve instead of two; meaning that clean and dirty blood mixes in the heart, a situation that tires lungs and can consequently lead to breathing complications.
She was referred to India since the operation could not be done in Kenya.
When Capital News was introduced to Terry by a well-wisher, Betsy Warui, she had given up because together with her husband, they knew they could not raise the Sh1.5 million required.
One year after, Terry still appreciates the help her family got.
She struggled hard to hold her tears back as severally thanked people for making it possible for Bhakita to get treatment in India.
“I take this opportunity to thank you for supporting Baby Bhakita, all people in and outside Kenya. Cecil Miller of Miller Foundation Kenya, I thank Capital FM, I thank you for your financial support and for your prayers.”
“Through your support we are able to take Bhakita to India. As we take Baby Bhakita to India again for the first surgery, it’s not easy to have your child undergo a surgery – I request you — the same God you prayed last time, please continue praying for us again as we go for the surgery.”
Bhakita’s mum was also happy to share the news that she finally got a job and together with her husband and with the help they got last year, they can support her treatment for the remaining stages supported also by her insurance cover with the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC).