The Maboneng Heart Institute: Netcare Sunninghill Hospital Media Statement

(KwaZulu-Natal) – Youngest patient in Africa receives mechanical heart.

GOOD NEWS: HVAD artificial heart saves life of five-year-old Newcastle boy, reports SA Good News.

A five-year-old boy from Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal has become the youngest patient on the African continent to undergo a lifesaving mechanical heart implantation.

Mnotho Mndebele, who had been in a critical condition in intensive care for four consecutive months prior to the ground-breaking operation, had a heart ventricular assist device (HVAD) implanted at Maboneng Heart Institute situated at , to keep his severely damaged heart functioning.

Dr Viljee Jonker, a cardiothoracic surgeon who led the implantation team, said that he was delighted with Mnotho’s progress since the procedure was performed a month ago. According to Dr Jonker the young fellow will return home to Newcastle this week.

“The multidisciplinary team at the hospital involved in his treatment and care is absolutely thrilled with his progress, particularly as he had been seriously ill for months before the operation, and his recovery has therefore taken some time,” adds Dr Jonker. “Now he has a new lease on life and is looking forward to going home to his family and friends.”

“We fully expect him to be able to go to school and do everything a normal young boy would do. However, unlike other children he will carry a small external battery pack for his implanted HVAD mechanical heart either on a belt around his waist, or in a small backpack. The batteries for the mechanical heart will have to be recharged every eight hours or so.”

At five years of age and having weighed only some 17 kilograms, Mnotho is the youngest patient in Africa, and one of the smallest and youngest in the world, to have had the benefit of a HVAD mechanical heart implant.

For the full article: SA Good News.