Tasneem Swartz, of Parow, says her life was turned upside down when she found her son, Hakim, 3, floating, lifeless, in her pool at home.
“He was a very vibrant boy who was always running around.”
On that fateful day in October last year, Hakim was being his usual playful self until tragedy struck.
“My mother tried to resuscitate him, but we couldn’t find a pulse. We rushed him to N1 City Hospital where paramedics found a pulse and stabilised him”
Hakim was taken to Red Cross Children’s Hospital where he spent a week in ICU.
“After a week, he started waking up. Suddenly, he just turned blue and doctors did not know what to do,” says Tasneem.
Due to the near-drowning, Hakim had been left with cerebral palsy.
“He stayed at Red Cross for weeks until he started having spasms. The doctors could not get it to stop and said there was nothing else they could do for him.”
He was then transferred back to N1 City, where the spasms stopped, and later to the Auckland Park Rehabilitation Centre in Johannesburg.
Hakim returned home in May this year.
“He is fully conscious, he cries and laughs, knows who his family is and reaches out to us for attention and affection,” says Tasneem.
She has heard about a stem-cell treatment offered by the NeuroGen Brain & Spine Institute in Mumbai, India – which she believes can help her son – and is raising money to cover the R200 000 it’s expected to cost.
She had a fund-raiser in Goodwood on Saturday which she says brought in R10 000.
She says she plans to hold more fund-raisers and is very grateful to those who have supported her so far.
“I believe God has a plan. I put my faith and trust in my creator,” says Tasneem.
“I am grateful for Hakim’s life. It could have been worse. I appreciate every single day. I am happy and content.”
*Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 082 379 3167 to help Hakim.
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