Home South African 6-year-old ‘fighter’ leaves hospital after 3-year battle

6-year-old ‘fighter’ leaves hospital after 3-year battle

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The family of a little boy who spent half of his life in hospital say they are relieved to finally have him home.

Travvone Rhoda, 6, is happy to be home.

THE FAMILY of a little boy who spent half of his life in hospital say they are relieved to finally have him home.

Six-year-old Travonne Rhoda was discharged last Wednesday after spending three years in Melomed hospital in Bellville for a lung disease, where he also miraculously survived Covid-19 earlier this year, despite only having 30% of his lungs left.

Mom Simone says that in 2017 her son was diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans, also known as popcorn lung, which obstructs the smallest airways in the lungs, making it nearly impossible for him to breathe on his own.

It was a rocky road for the Kraaifontein family but last week the bubbly little boy received a hero’s send-off as hospital staff clapped and cheered as he left.

Travonne in hospital.

Simone says: “He was six months old when he was first admitted to hospital, he had double pneumonia and has been oxygen-dependent since then.”

In 2017 he was diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans.

“Our nightmare started on 29 September 2018 when he was intubated for the first time and the next day the doctor called us in, saying he won’t make it through the day and we needed to come and say goodbye because his organs were failing.”

For the next eight monthsTravonne was attached to a life-support machine and started losing his lungs a little bit at a time.

To make matters worse, in January this year he tested positive for Covid-19.

“I cried because I knew that if he tested positive it would be a miracle if he survived but wow, he had no symptoms,” says Simone.

“We feel it’s best for him to come home now. I am scared because it’s going to be a challenge for us as winter is approaching.”

“The first night at home he went to sleep after 8pm and woke at around midnight because he wanted to be awake with us, he was too excited, he wanted to talk the whole time.”