When Clea De Klerk (2yr.) was born, she took only one breath before she stopped breathing. She was immediately transferred to NICU as she was in urgent need of oxygen; and they managed to resuscitate her.
Her parents were only allowed to see their bundle of love the afternoon for 5 minutes as she was on oxygen and life-support. Doctors explained that while mom was in labour, Clea had gone into distress and had swallowed her own stool which went into her lungs and filled them up. While Doctors were busy resuscitating her for 2 hours, Clea didn’t have any oxygen going to her brain, which caused severe brain damage.
Clea was in NICU for a total of 16 days before she was moved to the Neonatal ward where she spent another 33 days. While in the Neonatal ward Clea improved and the oxygen was removed completely, however she also had a feeding tube. After the 2nd week in the Neonatal ward, Doctors
broke the news that she had brain scarring, and that she will probably never walk.
She was referred to the Neurologist at Johannesburg General Hospital as Clea had brain damage, a clot and fluid on the brain. While she was in hospital she also picked up an infection and had to be isolated. Thankfully that cleared up within days and little Clea got stronger. She started all types of therapy in hospital i.e. speech therapy, OT, Physio etc.
On day 49, Clea was allowed to go home on condition that she returns for her necessary therapies. She was also off from the feeding tube and started learning how to use a special feeding bottle. After 2 weeks Clea did not need a shunt anymore.
When she was only 6 months old it was further found that she battles to hear and she received her first set of hearing aids at the age of 8 months. Hearing for the first time properly was amazing, she loved hearing herself giggle and laugh!
The first years of Clea’s life was very tough. She attended different therapies every 2 weeks. Mom, Andrea, and grandma were trained to assist with all the therapies as she had to go back to work and Grandma had to look after Clea as they were unable to survive from her husband’s salary alone.
When Clea turned 1yr. old it was further suspected that she might have Cerebral Palsy. She was placed in a CP Clinic once a month. Whilst in CP therapy they discovered that Clea had a vision impairment as well and she had to see an eye specialist. Unfortunately, Clea has not seen a Specialist due to lack of finances.
She is still with Grandma during the day as they cannot afford a “special needs” creche, but Clea needs to do special activities and exercises daily to improve and help with her development. She still cannot sit on her own. She also needs ongoing CP therapy, OT, Audiology and Speech Therapy. Follow Clea`s Dream on Facebook for live updates on her progress and journey.
By supporting our bracelet initiative you can help make a difference in Clea`s life, together we can change her world!
Fundraising for Clea De Klerk
Blossom with Love Bracelets for Clea; consisting of baby pink, navy and silver wooden beads with crystals – and a Daisy, cut-out Angel, or “Love You” Heart charm. To place an order, contact the agent in your area or shop online. Alternatively, please consider a donation; any and all donations welcome.
“Life is nothing but an opportunity for Love to blossom.”