Muhdin is a seven years old boy and the last born in a family of four.
His family resides in Mombasa county although he is originally from Wajir – Northern Kenya.Muhdin’s mum, Ms. Rahma Abdi, is single mother who runs a small greengrocer shop for a living. Due to her minimal income, Ms. Rahma can only afford to live with her younger children and forcing her two elder children to live in Wajir with her mother
When Muhdin was 13 days old, Rahma noticed that he had fast breathing episodes. She became concerned and decided to visit Makadara General Hospital in Mombasa where he was diagnosed with pneumonia.
Following frequent visits to Makadara Hospital, Muhdin was referred to a cardiologist who after performing an Echo test, diagnosed him with a congenital Heart Defect; Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). The renowned Mombasa based pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Bakari, recommended an open heart surgery for baby Muhdin. Rahma was devastated not only did she feel sorry for her son but she also did not know where to get funds required for the much needed heart surgery.
The cardiologist linked Rahma with Care For A Child’s Heart (CFACH) and advised her to submit the child’s medical profile to CFACH for consideration. After conducting a thorough background check to ascertain whether Muhdin met CFACH’s criteria, he was put in to our waiting list.
In 2019, CFACH forwarded Muhdin’s case to one of our partner organizations – Chain Of Hope, a UK based charity. The case was accepted for heart surgery sponsorship in late 2019 and Muhdin was scheduled to travel for surgery in Spain by June 2020.
2020 begun with a myriad of challenges owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Muhdin’s travel had to be delayed. No one knew when the pandemic would be over and being in such uncertainty was extremely frustrating for Rahma. During this waiting period Muhdin had several pneumonia attacks and was in and out of the hospital causing further anxiety. Rahma held on to the hope that someday her son would get well. CFACH continued supporting Muhdin with drugs and sponsoring his hospital bills.
In March 2021, the COVID-19 curve in Kenya seemed to be dropping prompting Chain of Hope to secure a surgery slot for Muhdin in Sant Joan de De’u Barcelona Hospital in Spain.
CFACH was pleased to share this wonderful news with Rahma who had been waiting with bated breath for over a year. Muhdin and his mother travelled to Nairobi for visa application at the Spain Embassy. They were accompanied by the CFACH social worker who successfully assisted them in filling out the numerous forms. Muhdin and Rahma were all set to fly out on 15th March 2021.
The Family Support Center was home to Muhdin and his mom for several days as they waited for the issuance of the visas. The CFACH team enjoyed having Muhdin around as he is such a charming boy.
As we escorted the mother and child to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for their late night flight, Rahma could not hide her joy.
Being that both Rahma and Muhdin can only speak Swahili and this was their first flight we made certain that every travel detail was written in a file in case she needed to request help throughout the trip.
The hospital staff received them at the Barcelona Airport and headed straight to the quarantine facility where they stayed for 14 days. With good internet connections in the hotel and hospital, Rahma called the CFACH team to give progress updates on a daily basis via WhatsApp calls.
Rahma was also lucky that there was a staff member at the hospital from Kenya who helped with all interpretations thus making for smooth communications during the hospital stay.
Muhdin underwent a successful open-heart surgery on 7th April 2021. On this a special day he got a new lease of life. He was in Spain for 60 days and returned to Kenya on 15th May 2021. Muhdin continues to do well and is not on any medications.