Wakhile had been hospitalised since July 2013 with serious heart and lung complications.
When all the other school children in Swaziland were writing their year-end exams, her head teacher arranged for the exam papers to be brought to the hospital and Wakhile wrote her Grade 2 exam right there in her bed on the busy hospital ward.
On the day she had to write her English exam she was extremely sick but refused to let this stop her from doing exactly what her classmates back home in her school were doing.
Not only did the head teacher from this remote school send the exam papers in on four different occasions, she also ensured that Wakhile’s final report was delivered to her homestead. The report was then brought to Wakhile’s bedside. Despite her mother and the nursing staff being delighted that she had passed, Wakhile was very angry with herself for coming fourteenth in class. She normally would have come in the top five!
The paediatrician at the hospital asked The Rocking Horse Project if we would be able to buy a portable oxygen concentrator for Wakhile as this would allow her to be discharged from the hospital and enjoy a much better quality of life. We put forward the request to our very kind donors in South Korea and within minutes received the go-ahead and the dollars to do so.
Wakhile’s mother was taught how to use the machine and after a few days, when the paediatrician was satisfied that all was working as it should, we were able to move Wakhile into one of our units at Hope House just before Christmas. What a privilege it was to travel with this little girl and see the excitement in her eyes as she commented on the people on the street and the cattle and the cars passing by. There was so much to look at as these were things that she had not seen for so long.
Wakhile’s story proves that no matter what our vocation (such as a head teacher at a rural school) or where we are in the world (living in South Korea), we can all play a part in making the life of a child with a life limiting condition (a very determined little Wakhile) and her family, a much better place.
And that’s when we all win.