Brother ar­rives from Swazi­land to give Muzi, 10, kid­ney

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - KASHIEFA AJAM

IT WASN’T quite or­ange but the re­mote-con­trolled car was ex­actly what Muzi Si­fundza wanted for his 10th birth­day.

It wasn’t the only gift the Swazi young­ster re­ceived this week – his 26-year-old brother is a blood match and will give him one of his kid­neys.

Muzi has chronic re­nal fail­ure and has been liv­ing at Marang House, in Joburg, which pro­vides med­i­cal care in a non-in­sti­tu­tional en­vi­ron­ment for se­ri­ously ill chil­dren, for the past three years while Swazi gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials dragged their feet in ap­prov­ing the funds for a trans­plant.

“I’m very happy. I haven’t seen my brother in a long time. He is go­ing to give me a kid­ney,” Muzi said.

His mother So­phie and brother Joseph ar­rived on Wed­nes­day, just in time for his birth­day cel­e­bra­tions.

Joseph told Pi­eter Ernst, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Marang House: “I am giv­ing my brother a kid­ney. I don’t want a fuss. This is not about me.”

Just two weeks ago, Muzi and his mother were in the pits of de­pres­sion af­ter doc­tors told them she was not a match and couldn’t do­nate a kid­ney.

Yes­ter­day, how­ever, So­phie smiled at her son, as he took his new red re­mote-con­trolled pick-up for a spin. “I am so grate­ful,” said So­phie. Last week, Marang House was con­tacted by two peo­ple, a South African and a Swazi, who of­fered the boy a kid­ney, but the South African health depart­ment was re­luc­tant as the pro­ce­dures could take months.

But there’s no need to con­sider this op­tion – Joseph will be his brother’s donor. The op­er­a­tion will prob­a­bly be done soon but Muzi will still have to re­ceive dial­y­sis ev­ery day un­til the op­er­a­tion date.

Ernst said of Muzi, who has been liv­ing for free at Marang house: “It’s been a long road. But there’s hope now. We are all just so re­lieved. Muzi is a dif­fer­ent boy. He’s hap­pier – naughty – but hap­pier.”

Al­though it was his birth­day on Wed­nes­day, Muzi still had to go for dial­y­sis. Then doc­tors dis­cov­ered that the dial­y­sis line to his kid­neys was in­fected. Doc­tors had warned if that hap­pened Muzi could cer­tainly die.

How­ever, doc­tors were able to treat the in­fec­tion and the dial­y­sis went ahead, even though it ex­hausted him.

And when he got to the car af­ter­wards, a big sur­prise lifted his spir­its – his mother and brother were there. They had trav­elled from Swazi­land.

“It was a sur­prise. I’m so happy they are here,” he said.

Muzi Si­fundza

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