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Thank you for your time reading this letter. You are welcome to contact me Marili van Reenen cell  +27 (0) 78 782 6924. I might take a moment to answer as I am occupied with Antoni but look forward to hearing from you.
Antoni was injured at birth. My treating gynaecologist had been on leave and his partner treated me. I was told to wait until my water broke yet nothing happened. At almost 42 weeks I was admitted to hospital and seen by my own doctor. A caesarean was performed and Antoni was born. This is when our whole life changed and challenges way beyond our imagination awaited us.
Antoni proves to be a miracle. He has a loving nature which immediately attracts people despite his disabilities. Just by looking at his photos you will notice his warm smile, a true inspiration to so many who takes life for granted or throw in the towel much too soon when life happens.
An intubation tube that was too big punctured Antoni’s respiratory tract. His lungs collapsed. Then during the trip from theatre to ICU the oxygen tube came loose leaving Antoni without oxygen that he desperately needed. There was no incubator. The next morning he was transported to Tygerberg Hospital for the insertion of a trach tube that allows him to breathe. The oxygen shortage caused vocal cord paralysis.
I felt shattered as I did not have the opportunity to hold Antoni. It is any mother’s dream to experience holding your bundle of joy for the first time. I wanted to be discharged immediately to be with my baby and so began a gruelling journey back and forth to the ICU unit. The worst part was arriving home without our baby. I felt nauseous when walking in the hospital passage afraid of any further bad news.
In the end doctors told me to accept the fact that Antoni will not be able to live a normal life and for us to make arrangements to put him in a place of care. But how does one lose a piece of your heart, your blood, a little person part of me and my husband, Mauritz. Even though it is difficult at times to make peace with what happened I do believe Antoni is sent to us and part of God’s plan. We need to be patient no matter how difficult the challenges are. We love our child so much.
This is the reason that I decided to ask for assistance, any assistance. Antoni is a growing boy and the expenses are increasing. We cannot keep up with the financial strains to pay for therapy such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, horseback riding therapy and swimming which will benefit him immensely.
My boy is a little fighter and doctors are astonished with his progress giving the fact that he endures all the hospital dramas. Antoni proves he has will-power. He can sit, roll over and push himself up to walk with support.
The Neuro Physiotherapist is very optimistic that Antoni will be able to walk but needs physiotherapy 3 times a week. At the moment we can only afford one session per week. The cost is R170 per hour session.
Currently we are trying to raise funds to the amount of R36 000 to buy a walking apparatus that will last him approximately 5 years. From time to time we borrow a friend’s walking apparatus. You can see how he enjoys the freedom to move around on his own on the video clip.
We are taking care of Antoni’s needs all this time but realised that we need more support. We are drained to keep up with the emotional and financial stress to be able give our child the best care and therapy he should have a right to.
Antoni’s paediatrician prescribed a special diet with oils. The costs for these are between R400 and R600 per month not to mention the supplements and other medication. Unfortunately we have to maintain this diet to prevent more seizures.
My biggest dream is to provide these services to Antoni, to find willing people who are patient and caring to assist in any way so that he can be stimulated to his full potential. We have taken care of Antoni so long that it is difficult to ask for the help of trusting people. We believe a positive impact will benefit our family life.
I love children and had my own crèche. If we have more support I might be able to start again. We try to stay positive even though so many people made empty promises and let us down. I realise there are many people who needs help. But I am a desperate mother who will do anything for my child. I hope you can find it in your heart to consider any assistance. It will be greatly appreciated.
At the moment we are in a legal process and cannot disclose information. These cases are time consuming and frustrating. We await feedback. In the mean time we appeal for your help. You are welcome to visit Antoni’s facebook page.