Public Eye (South Africa)

Miracle baby Emily needs your help

- Chanel George

Afundraisi­ng campaign has been launched for 'miracle' baby Emily Mckelvey, who is in desperate need of emergency heart surgery, after she was born with a rare heart condition.

After being diagnosed with scoliosis, Emily's mother, Kerry-ann Mckelvey, was told she would never be able to conceive and carry a baby full term.

Giving birth to Emily on November 9, was a miracle; however, her joy at motherhood was soon tempered when Emily was diagnosed with a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, a rare condition caused by a combinatio­n of four heart defects that were present at birth.

According to 'Nationwide­', this combinatio­n of heart abnormalit­ies causes diminished blood flow to the lungs as well as the mixing of red and blue blood across a "hole in the heart" or ventricula­r septal defect (VSD). This allows blue blood to be pumped into the body, resulting in low blood oxygen levels.

Emily was initially admitted to Mediclinic ICU in Pietermari­tzburg where her bill stands at approximat­ely R90 000.

Although Emily is on medical aid, there is a waiting period, which will only end on December

1. Unfortunat­ely, Emily cannot wait that long to have the operation.

Mckelvey’s family friend, Kayla van Jaarsveld, has taken it upon herself with the permission of the parents to create a Backabuddy fund for baby Emily.

“After the birth of Emily, the family was exhausted and busy arranging ways to get Emily treatment. I then asked the family if I could start a Backabuddy fund to assist them with the overwhelmi­ng medical fees that came along with Emily's condition,” said Van Jaarsveld.

She said Mckelvey had a rough pregnancy, but managed to pull through until the baby was born.

“When it was time to give birth, Mckelvey was put under anaestheti­c during her labour. When Emily was born doctors said she had difficulty breathing and was put straight on a ventilator,” said Van Jaarsveld.

She said currently some of the tubes on Emily have been removed and more tests are being done.

Since the Backabuddy project was advertised Van Jaarsveld said there have been many changes.

“Since then, she has been transferre­d to Grey’s Hospital and then will go to Chief Albert Luthuli Hospital where they will operate on her with her mum by her side,” said Van Jaarsveld.

Mckelvey said she got to hold Emily for the first time on Sunday night, which warmed her heart.

“It gives me so much strength to keep fighting for her because she is fighting the hardest,” said Mckelvey.

To donate towards Emily's medical expenses and help give her a chance at life, visit: https://­221113467

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