Thato Tsheko, a baby boy of only nineteen months, urgently needs a liver transplant.
Thato was born with a liver condition called biliary atresia, a very rare liver condition.
The conditions was detected in Thato when he was only six weeks old. Eight weeks after birth he was operated on but, unfortunately, the procedure was unsuccessful.
Thato’s parents, Stephen Tsheko and his wife Lizzy, have approached Sponsor a Child Trust Fund for help.
On Monday 9th February, the trust fund called a press conference at Gaborone Sun, where chairlady of the trust, Dorcus Makgato-Malesu, said, “Our trust fund has already donated P100 000 to kick start the fund raising towards helping Thato Tsheko.”
She went on to plead with the public at large to help with any form of donation.
Limpopo Lipadi, a game reserve in the Tuli area has also donated to Thato, P10 000.
The aim is to raise a minimum of five hundred thousand Pula (P500 000) in order for the operation to be undertaken in South Africa.
“Currently, he lives on medication to supplement for the nutrients he is lacking in his body. As you are aware, medical aid does not cover for transplants but they have agreed to cover for the drugs used now and after the operation,” said his mother. She mentioned that Thato’s skin used to itch a lot but the medication had reduced this.
One doctor also present at the conference confirmed that the itching is caused by the bile being absorbed into the blood stream.
“Because of Thato’s condition, the liver has been damaged beyond repair and he needs a liver transplant immediately,” said Dr Montshiwa Montshiwa, who added that he has known the child since birth. In biliary atresia, the bile ducts become inflamed and blocked, this causes the bile to remain in the liver and here it starts to destroy the liver cells.
The symptoms of biliary atresia are noticed by jaundiced eyes, which can be observed at 2-6 weeks from birth. The lower abdomen swells and skin itches. The stools and urine of the baby also change in colour. All this is because the bile does not reach the small intestine and bile is important for the digestion of fats.
The account number for the trust is Sponsor-A-child Trust (Thato Tsheko), Barclays Bank Botswana, Mall Branch, Account number:5402229.