Celebrating Lwanele: Baby goes viral with the happiest smile after a life-saving operation!
Photo Credit: Lwanele. our little warrior - Facebook

A little South African is going viral with the happiest smile after receiving a life-saving operation! This is Lwanele and his important story!


Johannesburg, South Africa – Lwanele is a little warrior who was born with multiple defects but continues to survive and thrive!

He was born at 32 weeks weighing 1.6kg and at birth, he stayed in the Neonatal ICU for 51 days. He had two operations during his NICU stay; one when he was 24 hours old, to fix the eusophogal fistula and to connect his stomach to the esophagus. At six days old, he had another operation to do a colostomy. At some stage, he had seizures and was started on anti-seizure medication, which he still takes every night.

Lwanele then had another operation when he was five months old, to create an anal opening for him (PSARP).

In January 2018 when he was seven months old he had severe difficulty in feeding and breathing. He started coughing and vomiting each time his parents tried feeding him. They then had to take him to the hospital where he spent 14 days. He was diagnosed with bronchopneumonia.

But just this week, his family celebrated his last surgery in a year.

The photo which is quickly going viral shows little Lwanele smiling and happy three days after his life-saving operation.

It was the 10 May 2018 when he had a PEG and a Nissen Fundoplication inserted which was quite difficult for his mom to accept “seeing he already poops from a hole on his stomach.”

“I felt like it was unfair to make him poop and eat from some holes in the stomach, but later on I thought about it and decided that it was not for me but for him.

Since we made that decision, Lwanele has had an improved quality of life; he can be fed while he sleeps, he no longer has to struggle and wheeze through the feeds. He no longer has to be worried about aspirating food into his lungs (which almost took his life last year).

I am so glad that we have a hole and scar on his abdomen which saved his life.

He is in the hospital now due to RSV, Pseudomonas and bronchiolitis but it can never be compared to the way he was sick last year from January to July. Food almost killed my baby!

I spoke to his dietician today, and she’s saying that he is now overweight and we need to reduce his feeds! That’s how much his life has improved. When he was mouth-fed, he never gained any weight – it was just a struggle.”

Lwanele is now one year and ten months old and doing much better but still requires lots of medication, physiotherapy and perhaps more surgeries in the future. You can follow his journey by visiting his Facebook Page.

Sources: Facebook 
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens.
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll hopefully leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *