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By Nelsiwe Ndlangamandla - SWAZI OBSERVER-16-Sep-2009

GCINUMUZI Sifundza, the Swazi boy who needs a kidney transplant, returns home today after all else has failed.

This is after the Johannesburg General Hospital discovered that it was too late to perform the transplant. Salome Parkies, an administrators at Marang House where the boy had been housed, confirmed this yesterday, saying that she has gone to the high commissioner to seek Gcinumuzi’s passport. Gcinumuzi has been staying at the Marang House where they care for children with chronic renal failures ever since he moved to South Africa.

Parkies said “he was supposed to return to Swaziland today (yesterday) but the ambulance did not come so we are expecting that he would leave tomorrow (today).” She stated that the dialyses treatment had been stopped because the boy’s condition had deteriorated. Parkies explained that his head had swollen and he had difficulty even opening his eyes, let alone take in food. “His life was dependent on the dialyses machine. Now that it has been stopped it is only a matter of days that his family would be with him,” she said in a sombre mood. Parkies revealed that they had hoped the boy’s brother would eventually donate the kidney but, unfortunately, the boy had to be brought home and wait for the unknown, if not the inevitable.

“We are just praying that he makes it through tonight, we also pray that he does not die along the way because we cannot imagine what that would do to his mother and family,” she said. His brother, Joseph who had left with the hope of donating the kidney to Gcinumuzi will return home with him today. Joseph left after it was hoped that with the little time that the boy had he (Joseph) could save his life. Gcinumuzi has been sick for the past four years and since then, he has been staying at the Marang House. For all these years, he has been waiting for a kidney transplant and his mother was said to be a perfect donor. Just two months ago, after government finally agreed to pay for the transplant, it was discovered that his mother’s kidney was too big and could have cancer. In the last attempt to save the boy’s life, his brother Joseph offered to donate but it was already late.

The young boy could have been saved

…Marang House devastated by the news

THE Marang House has received with shock the news that Gcinumuzi will be brought back to the country to spend his last days. The Director, Pieter Ernst, said if things were done faster Gcinumuzi could have lived to realise his dreams. “It is so devastating that Gcinumuzi may not live to see another day, if only things were done soon this boy would live,” said Pieter. Salome Parkies said Gcinumuzi would not return to the Marang House anymore. She stated that yesterday they had a farewell function for him at the hospital, saying “he was so sick.” She said she personally felt like she was digging the grave for him. “I have lived with him for more than three years and I have grown to love him. I never thought it would come to the day when I would have to let go, knowing that I would never see him again.” She also felt that something could have been done to save the life of the boy.

We are shocked - Heath Ministry

Ministry of Health PS DR. Steven Shongwe said they had been made aware that Gcinumuzi would return today after the failed transplant. He stated that they also had full knowledge that Gcinumuzi’s life was about to end. Dr. Shongwe explained that they were still at a loss for words of what led to this situation. “We were hoping that the transplant would be successful. We are saddened by the news that there is no hope for the boy now,” said Dr. Shongwe.

He explained that when Gcinumuzi returned today, he would be at Mbabane Government hospital. Dr. Shongwe said they were still waiting for a full report on what exactly went wrong, saying, “right now all we know is the boy is returning home. We will have a full report today.”

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