Babies are special, but not all babies are born with a silver spoon. One baby that is close to the hearts of the Operation Healing Hands team is Baby A. He was born in April, but unlike most other babies, he did not have a birth mom who could take care of him. For Baby A, luckily, there was a special Angel in this world called Riana. 

Riana volunteered to be Baby A’s foster mom on the day he was born. Riana is part of a group called the Care Home Moms, which falls under the SA Cares for Life umbrella. Riana has been fostering babies between the ages of 0-12 months for the last 10 years, and Baby A is the 27th baby to be loved by her.

“Fostering babies is a calling from God. To love unconditional. Every time a baby gets adopted or gets another foster family or goes to the Toddler House, it is hard to say goodbye. If anybody says that it is not hard, they are doing it wrong!” says Riana.

When Baby A first came to Riana, he seemed like a normal healthy baby. After giving him his first bath, however, Riana realized that there was a problem with his left foot. This happened just as COVID-19 took South Africa by storm and Riana knew that there was no way that she could risk taking Baby A to a state hospital. She did some reading on the internet about his condition, and came to the conclusion that Baby A needed to be helped sooner than later. So she decided to take the chance on a private orthopaedic surgeon rather than wait for the state service to be safer again. She knew that it would cost a lot, but decided that she would worry about getting sponsorships or donations at a later stage when she actually knew what the official diagnosis was and what exactly her expenses would be.

That is the story of how Baby A and Riana came to OHH. He was immediately diagnosed with CTEV. Congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV), often known as ‘club-foot’, is a common developmental disorder of the lower limb. Luckily no surgery was necessary, and the condition could be treated by casting the leg for two weeks at a time, for a period of three months.

The cast will come off within the next couple of weeks and after that Baby A will get boots-and-braces until he reaches the age of four. According to OHH CEO Dr Helené Basson, baby A is doing excellent! “He will be needing treatment for a few years still, but as long as OHH is able and in a position to help, we are in it for the long haul.”

All Baby A needs now is a family to adopt him and love him like the prince he is!

Baby A is only one of many who are looked after by The Toddler House and Care Home Moms. The bare minimum these babies need are clothes, milk and nappies. If you feel that you are in a position to make a financial or any other kind of donation, please contact Janice Spencer at +27 83 310 4442 or EMAIL her to find out more about how you can help. 

Article by Yolande Strauss
(Edited by Magriet Stander)