Happy ending as ‘lifeless’ girl goes home

When seven-year-old Abongile Ndlovu opened her eyes and gently squeezed her parents’ hands the morning after her lifeless body was found at the bottom of a swimming pool‚ doctors were hopeful that she would make a full recovery.

And they were right.

Two weeks after lifesavers pulled her small body out of a pool where Abongile had been on holiday on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast with her aunt‚ the little girl‚ who has been nicknamed “miracle child“‚ returned home to the care of her grateful and overjoyed parents on Monday.

“We as a family are overjoyed that she is once again the happy‚ healthy child that we know and that we are able to take her home‚” said her father‚ Isaiah Ndlovu.

Lifesavers pulled her lifeless body out of the pool and performed CPR.

Ndlovu‚ a Pietermaritzburg father of two‚ said considering that Abongile had no pulse‚ he thought he had lost his little girl.

“Abongile had no pulse when she was brought out of the pool; we all got such a shock when we heard about it. We really thought we would lose our precious‚ only daughter‚” said Ndlovu.

Paramedic Gary Paul‚ who was one of the first at the scene of the near-fatal drowning‚ said he was amazed at her recovery.

“Considering that she had no vital signs whatsoever when we first attended to her‚ Abongile has made a recovery that can only be described as remarkable.”

Dr Bianca Visser‚ an emergency doctor ‚ who was responsible for Abongile’s initial emergency care at the Netcare uMhlanga Hospital‚ said that the incident highlighted the importance of parents and childminders learning basic CPR.
“We were all astonished and greatly relieved when Abongile opened her eyes and squeezed her parents’ hands the morning after the incident‚” she said.

“Although we knew that she was not out of danger yet after suffering such a trauma to her system‚ it gave us all hope for her full recovery. She has done so in remarkably quick time.”

Anaesthesiologist Dr Matt Gunning was called once the girl was stabilised to induce a coma and take control of all the young patient’s bodily functions. He said that this form of artificial life support was used to give Abongile’s heart‚ lungs and other organs time to recover from the trauma she had suffered.

“The next 24 hours proved to be critical‚ and we took turns to remain at her bedside throughout this period. Needless to say‚ we were delighted when Abongile started showing strong signs of recovery the very next day‚” Gunning added.

Abongile’s father said he was grateful for hospital staff as well as the Netcare Foundation‚ which had covered Abongile’s hospital costs.

Wandile Bhengu – TimesLIVE

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