We’ll only be a few minutes, just enough time for a sip of hot coffee, or jebena as it’s called here, named after the ceramic cup which it is made and kept hot in.
Fatma is 12 years old and lives in West Kordofan, Sudan. She started having heart problems at primary school and when she was nine, she had to stop going to school due to recurring headaches, weight loss, and general discomfort.
Initially, her mother and father turned to the city hospital for help. They were advised to search for a more accurate diagnosis in Khartoum. Fatma arrived at our Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery in September of 2016, and we started a six month treatment programme. Fatma was operated on in March of 2017.
The mitral valve replacement was a success, as was the post-surgery recovery period. Some months later, however, it became apparent that something was not right, and she was readmitted to the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery.
Regularly taking the prescribed medication is absolutely fundamental for patients with a mechanical valve. Fatma, however, had not fully followed these instructions . We really got quite a fright! Now Fatma has recovered, and our staff have made sure that she continues to take her medicine correctly, so that she is protected against any future risk of blockage to the artificial valve.
Fatma is an adorable girl with a special energy. She loves to play with dolls and with other guests at the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery. But her biggest passion is chocolate cake – it’s hard to argue with that