“She’s my princess, she’s my everything.”
These are the words that mom Rozanne Arendze, 30, of Delft uses to describe her five-month-old only daughter, Lemicah, who was born with an abnormally large head.
Lemicah has Hydrocephalus, a condition where excess fluid collects in the brain, and occurs in 1.5 out of every 1000 babies.
Just two weeks ago, her head circumference was an enormous 96cm.
The little girl then underwent surgery at Tygerberg Hospital where a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt was placed in her head to help relieve pressure on her brain and drain excess fluid.
Since then, her head has shrunk to about 83cm. The shunt will be replaced every 10 years.
The cute baby responds well to people, smiling and gripping fingers, although her eyes cannot open all the way due to the pressure in her head.
Rozanne lives with her 63-year-old mother and her boyfriend, 35, with their three sons, aged 12, six and three, and now Lemicah, in a three-bedroom home in Delft.
Video: Genevieve Serra/Daily Voice
Rozanne says up until her daughter’s birth, she thought she was having a healthy baby.
“Three scans were done and they said everything is normal,” she says.
In 2017, Rozanne had a stillbirth at seven months and because of this, Lemicah’s pregnancy was deemed as high-risk.
In December 2018, Rozanne gave birth to Lemicah via C-section, and she weighed 4.2kg.
“When they performed the Caesar, I didn’t hear the baby cry, or anything,” the mom says.
“After two days I finally met my baby and was told by a doctor what the condition was.”
Rozanne says it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions, but not once did she think her little girl was a mistake.
“This is all new to me. I had four boys, the fourth one was stillborn and now I finally have my girl,” the proud mom says.
CHARITY: Women for Change members help with new baby. Photo: Jack Lestrade/Daily Voice
“She is my world, she is my princess, she is my everything and I would do anything for her.
“I am learning everything about this condition and have not received counselling. I was told nothing can be done for my baby, but I serve God and He has the final say.”
Rozanne is a stay-at-home mom while her boyfriend, the father of all her children, works as a courier driver.
The mom says she wants to make life comfortable for her little angel.
“She has a wheelchair provided by the hospital, but it’s very cold here even when she is dressed in warm clothing.
“She needs everything from milk, which is Infacare No.2, to clothing and nappies. She is also starting on solids now. My job is to protect her.”
Rozanne is being assisted by community volunteers, Women for Change.
If you would like to assist the family, please contact Rozanne on 074 253 3296 or 081 584 7937.