Last month, three siblings arrived at Hearts of Hope. Their mother had abandoned them with a neighbour. The children, aged 1, 3 and 5 (we think that is their ages, as there were no official papers with them) were chronically malnourished and anaemic. The older brother of 5 years old spent the first few days hoarding food in all his pockets for his siblings – a sure sign of the severity of their lack of regular nutrition and care.
Unfortunately, L was rushed to Sunninghill Hospital last Sunday with pneumonia which was exacerbated by the chronic anaemia. She just didn’t have the capacity to fight the infection.
To admit her to the hospital, we had to pay R31 200 upfront. As a children’s home we are unable to get medical aid and are completely reliant on donations to cover all medical bills.
Our staff took it in turns to sit with her at the hospital, with the last person leaving at 9pm in the evening when she was settled and asleep.
She finally returned home, after 6 days in hospital to a wonderful welcome from her older brother, who had missed her terribly.
The first thing she did (she is 3!), was tie his shoelaces and give him a juice that she had saved for him from the hospital!
These three little ones have been parenting themselves for so long. But now at Hearts of Hope, they can finally be safe and protected and have the childhood they always should have.