Zoë Strydom was born on the 13th of July 2017. Seven weeks later she was diagnosed with “billiary atresia” and had the Kasai procedure at 8 weeks. Unfortunately, this operation was unsuccessful and she had to travel to Johannesburg from Heidelberg in the Western Cape to go for liver transplant evaluation in January 2018.
On 1 February, she was transported by air ambulance to the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Center with liver failure. Naturally, her mother immediately completed tests to be approved as a suitable donor, and on the 22nd of February the liver transplant was done. Little Zoë struggled a lot with her breathing and had to be on a ventilator during recovery, and until she was strong enough to leave. They were both discharged on the 20th of March 2018.
Unfortunately, it was short-lived.
During the June school holiday Zoë had a terribly high fever which could not be explained, and she was transported once again by air ambulance to the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre. After many tests they discovered that she has Monomorphic PTLD. PTLD is one of the most common post-transplant cancers.
This year, Zoë and the family were caught off guard with 5 hospital admissions due to adenovirus to gastroenteritis. The admission was for constipation because of the many antibiotics that her little body had to drink over a short period of time. The Gastro and constipation caused her to lose 1kg. Constipation caused her to have vomiting, which almost led to severe dehydration. (April 5, 2019).
Zoë is doing well otherwise and has reached all her milestones (as you know, she only started to crawl at 7 months due to the liver transplant). The PTLD stopped her ability to walk… She literally just got up and walked on at 1 year and 4 months. Her bubbly personality is very contagious.
Several appointments for a CT scan were scheduled, but they couldn’t go because Zoë had a virus every time. The CT scan cannot be done as viruses enlarge the lymph-nodes, and with PTLD it may affect the outcome of results.
We ask for prayers that Zoë will not get any virus again. Her body can build up resistance to the antibiotics. If she doesn’t get antibiotics, the viruses can affect her liver function.
Her liver function is still normal, as well as her CMV and EBV levels. They are now waiting for next date to do the CT scan, updates to follow.
Please keep Zoë as well as her parents in your prayers, it has been a very long and difficult road thus far.
Update from mom, Zendra – 29 September 2018: “The results are in – Zoë is cancer-free and in remission! No sign of cancer on CT Scan or the G and C scope. Biopsy results are NORMAL. Zoë’s name not only means LIFE by accident. The Lord has holy plans for her life. We hold on to Jer. 29:11. Amen! Our GOD is so BIG. We can only praise His name!”
Fundraising for Zoë Strydom
Amazing Grace Bracelets for Zoë; consisting of white, light blue and grey wooden beads – with a Grace, Hope, or Tree of Life charm.
Infinity and Beyond collection for Zoë: consisting of a ladies bracelet, men`s bracelet and infinity heart necklace.