An unemployed mother to a 14-month-old baby girl, who was born with a rare condition, where she has no bones in her arm and leg, hopes to see her daughter lead a normal life.
Baby Frieda Alweendo from the Windhoek’s informal settlement of Okahandja Park was born with congenital limb defects, which means she was born without crucial bones in her right arm and right leg.
She was also born with a congenital heart defect and a form of facial asymmetry.
Her condition was only discovered at birth.
However, her mother Ndeshi Werner (27) said she felt that something was not right while she was pregnant.
During pregnancy, she experienced shortness of breath and her right leg was always in pain to a point where she was limping.
“I used to complain to the nurses, but they would always tell me that it was normal for a person in my condition (being pregnant),” she said.
Werner, who visited Katutura state hospital for her prenatal consultations, said the hospital did not detect any abnormalities throughout her nine months of pregnancy.
When Alweendo turned eight-months, a doctor discovered her heart was swollen and her lungs have collapsed.
“I was told that her lungs collapsed because of the oxygen we are giving her. Now I try not to use the oxygen tank as often. If I see that she is experiencing shortness of breath, I take her outside the house for some fresh air,” explained Werner.
Baby Alweendo was discharged at birth with an oxygen tank to aid with her breathing since she was struggling to breathe on her own.
Despite her condition, baby Alweendo can sit properly and eat her daily meals.
Werner said the financial cost to take care of her baby and make sure that she does not miss her doctor’s appointments is high. They depend on occasional assistance from family members, friends and her unemployed husband.
“I had to quit my job so that I can look after my baby as I cannot leave her with just anyone. Though it does not make me feel proud that at my age I am at home doing nothing,” said a teary Werner.
Baby Alweendo was scheduled to travel to Cape Town in South Africa for an operation in February but could not travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak and the subsequent travel restrictions.
Werner said they are now waiting to be informed of the new date to travel for operation. Although government, through the ministry of health, will cover the medical expenses, Werner is appealing to the public for financial assistance to cater for accommodation and other expenses while in South Africa.
“I am asking for the public to assist me in whatever way they can so that I can be alongside my baby when she has her operation,” said Werner.
Good Samaritans who wish to assist can contact Werner directly on 081 794 3510.