Marburg mother of two needs heart and lung transplant – help give her hope

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  • Image Result For Marburg Mother Of Two Needs Heart And Lung Transplant

Marilyn Rampersad seen with her sons, Tyrell (3),Tristan (5) and her husband Dinesh.

MARILYN Rampersad (29) of Marburg has given birth to two beautiful boys not knowing that she lived with a life-threatening disease.

After the birth of her second son, Marilyn suffered a mild heart attack. She had been to various doctors and hospitals and no one had picked up that she suffered from pulmonary hypertension (PH).

This rare disease was only diagnosed two years later at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital. Now she, her two sons Tristan (5) and Tyrell (3) and husband Dinesh are pleading with South Coasters to help her in her fund-raising drive to raise the much needed medical costs.

With pulmonary hypertension (PH), a condition for which there is no specific cause, she has since been diagnosed with the following: Eisenmenger syndrome, atrial septal defect (ASD) and congenital heart disease, thus it is necessary for her to have a heart and lung transplant.

Having a large hole in her heart all those years and not knowing about it has meant her lungs have been overworking, resulting in pulmonary hypertension. Her condition is a rare one and she has been trying desperately to get medical aid and wait out the waiting period, after which time she would be listed as a priority patient for transplantation.

Thus far she has had no success acquiring a medical aid that will cover the cost.

When she was diagnosed at the Durban hospital, she was told that the hospital was unable to fund such a procedure as it was a double procedure and that the best would be for her to get outside help. She was then referred to a surgeon at a private hospital in Durban. The surgeon indicated that an appropriate cost for transplantation is currently between R750 000 to a million and thereafter, Marilyn would need to take a monthly supply of anti-rejection medication costing R50 000 per month for the rest of her life.

Last month a dedicated team consisting of family and friends rallied behind Marilyn to set up a medical fund to assist with fund-raising drives.

A committee was elected and constitution approved and signed off. The strictly constituted fund and account will be administered by independent trustees and signatories who were elected at the meeting.

The trustees and committee members are Tracy Govender (chairman), Dinesh Pillay (vice-chairman), Carol Meth (secretary and PRO), Ashlin Naidoo (assistant secretary), Ravi Lautan (treasurer) and Kaveer Surujpal (assistant treasurer). As there is great hope for Marilyn to lead a normal life, an appeal is made to anyone who can help and donate to the Marilyn Medical Fund, Nedbank Port Shepstone branch, account number 2011171458 and branch code 198765.

The auditing firm Anil Ramnath and Co CA (SA), has been appointed as independent auditors for the inspection of all financial statements and records of the fund.

The committee (back, from left) Pragasen Kisten, Kaveer Surujpal, Jena Machnarayan, Renaye Naidoo, Ravi Lautan, Dinesh Pillay and Dinesh Rampersad, with Samatha Allee, Tracy Govender, Marilyn and Carol Meth in front.

For now Marilyn is at home using oxygen. “I think that society has a general belief that oxygen is the end of life. I had people asking me if I was dying. I do understand that people are curious about why I use the oxygen,” she said.

“When I was admitted to hospital for almost a month, away from my loved ones, various tests were done. The day I was going into theatre the cardiac surgeons told me that I would be awake throughout the procedures and that I could die. I took my stand and said I would go ahead with it knowing that, with God by my side, I would be fine. When I came out of theatre I saw my husband, Dinesh, standing by the door. I saw the joy in his eyes when I was rolled out of the theatre, this gave me hope.”

Although the results had not been good she recovered and was introduced to doctors and surgeons. Every one of them told her that she’s a miracle, as people with PH and large ASDs die at a young age.

“God has brought me this far; I won’t let him give up on me now. I was then told, as I was in a government hospital, they didn’t have the funds or the facilities, or professionals who could do a combined transplant on me. At that moment there was nothing I could do but go home and be prepared to die at any time as we were not even told a time frame.

“I do not have the finance to do this on my own, but with the help of everyone I can do this for my family, most importantly for my two boys. Any donation, no matter how small, would be greatly appreciated,” said Marilyn.

For further information and enquiries contact Marilyn at 084 3712076 or Tracy Govender at 074 4724508.

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