â€œWhen we first took him to the local clinic, we were told that he was suffering from malnutrition. Following the continuing deterioration of his health, we took him to St Patrickâ€™s hospital where one of the doctors referred us to Mpilo hospital,â€ said the boyâ€™s father Paul Nyati, in a recent interview.
At Mpilo, the doctors diagnosed him as having a heart ailment but said it would disappear on its own after eight years. However instead of improving, Hillaryâ€™s condition continued to deteriorate, with stunted growth being the major concern.
â€œInitially we used to carry him in a wheelbarrow to school, but there came a point where it was almost pointless to take him because he could not stand up on his own or do anything by himself,â€ said Nyati.
The progression of his medical challenges eventually led to him being regularly hospitalised. Eventually he was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot â€“ a condition that requires extensive surgical intervention to repair damage to the heart. Medical tests conducted by doctors indicated that he needed a corrective surgery, which could only be carried out either in South Africa or India at a cost of $30 000.
â€œOur only option was to take him to India, where the cost was only $10 000. But the challenge was where to get the money since I do not earn that much as a teacher. My wife is also not employed. It was painful watching our son on his death bed,â€ said Nyati.
The local community through the Hwange Childrenâ€™s Medical Fund came to the familyâ€™s aid and began to fundraise for Hillaryâ€™s cause. â€œWhen we heard about the Nyati familyâ€™s financial dilemma for their son, we quickly organised an awareness campaign to raise money for both the surgery and air tickets for Hillary and his parents. Our first fund raising activity was a march where we managed to raise $662. We also managed to organize civic days in all the schools in the district where we raised $15 000,â€ said Ronald Nyoni, the vice chairperson of the Hwange Children Medical Fund.
World Vision and Hwange Colliery also chipped in. The Hillary Nyati Medical Fund was formed and enabled Hilary and his father to acquire passports and travel to India in May 2015.
Hillaryâ€™s condition deteriorated while at the airport and he was admitted for about nine days at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare before proceeding to India. Upon arrival in India on 20 May 2015, he was taken to Artemis hospital where the surgical operation was carried out. After spending the scheduled 20 days in India, Hillary is now fit and back to school.
â€œI am now fit and back to school. It pains me that I lost a lot of school time because of illness. I am now able to walk and play with my colleagues. I would like to thank God and all pupils from schools in Hwange for saving my life,â€ said Hillary, who is now doing grade six at Lwendulu United Primary school.Post published in: Featured