Red Cross gets life-saving donation

Displaying new breathing equipment donated to Red Cross War Memorial Childrens Hospital are, from left, Sasha Louw with her daughter, Kiiara, Muslim Judicial Council first deputy president Moulana Abdul Khaliq Allie, Childrens Hospital Trust CEO Chantel Cooper, Muslim Hands fund-raising manager Imraan Roomany, Muslim Hands programmes manager Sheikh Haashim Peck and nurse Grenchen Allies-Williams.

Humanitarian organisation Muslim Hands has given the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital life-saving breathing equipment.

The Rylands-based charity took three months to raise the money for ventilators, heart-rate monitors, pumps and other equipment to be used in the hospital’s Breatheasy Tracheostomy and Ventilation Homecare Programme (BTVHP).

The donation was made to the Children’s Hospital Trust at the hospital, last Thursday.

Muslim Hands fund-raising manager Imraan Roomany said: “The children’s hospital is helping destitute families get medical attention for their children, and we strongly feel a need to contribute towards the children’s recovery at the hospital.”

The BTVHP helps children with tracheostomies breathe easily. A tracheostomy is an incision in the windpipe made to relieve an obstruction to breathing.

This programme is led by specialist nurses who train families on how to manage the tracheostomy equipment at home.

The trust’s CEO, Chantel Cooper, said they were thrilled to have been chosen as a beneficiary by Muslim Hands.

“We know that this long-term relationship will make a direct impact, not only for the hospital but especially for the children who need the breathing equipment to stay alive in the comfort of their own homes.”

Eighteen-month-old Kiiara Louw was diagnosed with congenital high airway obstruction syndrome while still in her mother Sasha Louw’s womb. She underwent an emergency tracheostomy to bypass the obstruction and establish a new airway.

Ms Louw said her daughter was still getting support from the hospital as an outpatient.

“Kiiara suffers from sleep apnoea so she needs to be properly ventilated when sleeping. So they gave us a ventilator machine for her to sleep on; they provide us with a breathing monitor, which she also sleeps on, which shares her breathing patterns, and a heart-rate monitor.”

Dr Shazia Peer, head of paediatric otolaryngology at Red Cross, thanked Muslim Hands for the donation.

“The Breatheasy programme is amazing because it supports the marginalised children, and I am lucky that I get to operate on them and fix them and get them on their way,” she said.

Muslim Hands programmes manager Sheikh Haashim Peck said: “The work that’s taking place here really touches the lives of people and this is just the beginning of our relationship with the hospital through the Children’s Hospital Trust.”

Muslim Hands also donated 200 food parcels to the Friends of the Children’s Hospital Association.