The Story Of Baby David

Triplet Baby David’s Life-Saving Heart Surgery

We love this story of hope from Natasha Burrows who travelled from Saudi Arabia to Lenmed Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre to get life-saving heart surgery for Baby David.

baby David cooing
three babies smiling

‘’David was born in November 2020 in Saudi Arabia with a heart defect called VSD – we found out when he was around 12 days old. David is the eldest of three triplet boys. At the time it was asymptomatic, and they said not to worry about it. But in February this year he went into heart failure. He was in the ICU for a week for that. And we looked for doctors and surgeons, we drove kilometres. We went to three different hospitals, three different doctors, to try and get the surgery for David. But in Saudi, they just wouldn’t do it, they kept telling us he weighed too little, or he had to wait until different milestones.

Initially, it was that he had to weigh four kilograms. So, we reached four kilograms and then they said no, he’s still a bit young, let’s wait until he’s five months old. So, we reached five months old and four kilograms, and then said, no, let’s reach five kilograms. And so, the goalposts kept changing. We looked for different doctors, two of them being more than 300 kilometres drive to get there. And everyone just said, no wait. At the last appointment we had, they said to wait until he’s over a year old. It was very frustrating getting the run-around in Saudi. We as parents felt that David wasn’t getting the medical attention he deserved and desperately needed. And as parents you’ll do anything for your kids.

baby David laughing
baby David and his mother
baby david smiling

I found Dr Dama at Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre by posting on the Mammahood Natal group on Facebook. I asked moms there, can they recommend any cardiologists. And out of the 38 responses I received, 35 of them recommended Dr Dama and Dr Reddy, so it was a no-brainer. I simply sent an email to Dr Dama to ask him about David and he called me back within 15 minutes. That’s when we started making our plans to get David to Durban. I hopped on a plane by myself with three infants to get David the best possible care. And as hard as that was, it’s the BEST decision we’ve ever made. It was daunting having to land in SA before our appointment with Dr Dama and then the unrest started. Even through the unrest, Dr Dama made a point of meeting with us, we cannot thank him enough.

Dr Dama saw him a week before his surgery. And we scheduled the surgery for the following Monday. It’s the best decision we have ever made to get David the surgery. The struggles we’ve had in Saudi Arabia to get the surgery done have just been insane. We’ve had such a journey, it’s been rough. But the quality of care we would have gotten in Saudi wouldn’t have been anything close to what we’ve received at the Lenmed Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre. It’s amazing. We’re just so grateful. And Dr Dama and Dr Reddy are absolutely amazing. Thank you so much.

David is now a new child completely; he has more energy and is more active, and is like a newborn now. Our family is even more delighted that he is on no meds at all.

parents with their three sons

Simple tasks such as tummy time previously left little David exhausted with over 30 minutes to recover but now it is such a pleasure watching him meet even more milestones in his journey.’’ – Natasha Burrows

#LenmedHasHeart #EmbraceEveryDay #HereForYou #Nurses #Doctors #HospitalStaff #GratitudeTRIPLET

See what our staff had to say:

Dr Dama

Paediatric Cardiologist

Dr Reddy

Paediatric Heart Surgeon

Niresh Bechan

Hospital Manager