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The Chronicle

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Agnes Ndlovu, Online Desk 

The family of a boy (12) from Bulawayo’s Pumula South suburb, living with a disease that has caused part of his spine to protrude from the back, is seeking about R13 000 for an operation to be done in South Africa.
Mthabisi Masola suffers from myelomeningocele, a birth defect disease that affects about 1 in 4 000 infants.

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Medically, it is described as; “Neural tube defect (NTD) in which the bones of the spine do not completely form. This results in an incomplete spinal canal. The spinal cord and meninges protrude from the child’s back.

“NTDs are birth defects of the brain, spine, or spinal cord. They happen in the first month of pregnancy, often before a woman even knows that she is pregnant.”

Mthabisi’s mother Ms Chrystabel Siziba been trying to seek assistance since the day he was born, to no avail.

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In 2018, local doctors referred the boy to Edenvale Hospital in South Africa for an operation to fix the defect, but Ms Siziba could not raise the R13 000 that was required.

She has not been able to get a fresh quote ever since. “Doctors had said he would be unable to walk when he was born but to my surprise, he walks,” said Ms Siziba.

“This disability is making him unable to control bowel movements and he can soil himself while playing with other children  or at school as he doesn’t feel it coming. I have resorted to making him wear disposable diapers.” She made an impassioned appeal to well-wishers to help her son so that he could live a normal life.

“Also, I need assistance with his school fees because money is a problem. I am not working. Besides the money for the operation I need help with diapers and food. I’m reachable on +263 788 743 089,” said Ms Siziba.
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