Zimbabwe artists give hope to Baby Nathan

August 21, 2015 OPINION/NEWS




Mathew Masinge

Artists from around Zimbabwe yesterday joined efforts through an Acoustic Night Concert to raise funds for baby Nathan, who has been diagnosed with Fanconi Anaemia barely four months into his life.

The concert saw performances from Jazz guitarist Tariro neGitare, Victor Kunonga, Prudence Katomeni, Prayersoul and Tinashe Makura, in addition to standup comedian Simba The Comic King and Poet Batsirai Chigama.




Due to his condition, baby Nathan (4 months old) has bilateral radial clubs, absent thumbs, an absent right kidney, cafe au lait spots and severe hearing loss for which the medical doctors have requested immediate attention.

Bilateral radial club hands refer to a condition in which the radius bone of the forearm is underdeveloped or absent. In Nathan’s case the radius is absent resulting in a characteristic appearance of the hand and wrist, angled towards the thumb side of the forearm.




In an interview, Nathan’s father confirms he is slowly receiving treatment:

“Currently under the instructions and guidance of a hand therapist we are doing physical hand therapy by stretching his wrists and fingers. At 6 months he needs to get splints which will also help with the stretching in preparation for surgery at 9 months. They will do what they call hand centralisation which is surgery to straighten the club hand. Surgery will be performed on one hand at 9 months and then the other at 12 months. Thereafter at possibly 18 months they will do a tendon transfer. This procedure is called pollicisation in which they move the index finger to make it a thumb as thumbs are vital for grip” he said.

Baby Nathan needs a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) softband. “Early intervention with a sound processor can be vital for efficient language development and speech acquisition for children with a hearing loss. The BAHA Softband allows for young children who are too young to have a BAHA implant to still benefit from a BAHA sound processor and gain more possibilities for a lifetime of better hearing,

“For the hearing loss, Baby Nathan had a CT scan and an Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test which reflected that the middle ear and the cochlear were fine. These are the components which aid in hearing. However he has a narrow canal which is why sound is unable to travel from the outer ear (ear drum) to the middle ear” he said.

An ultrasound scan showed that everything was okay but picked up that his right kidney was missing. The good thing is that his left kidney is fine and it will be able to function perfectly without the other one.

Fanconi’s Anaemia – upon conducting a full blood count (FBC) test they found out that all blood levels were normal. His blood levels like Natasha (his sister) may start depleting when he is between 5 and 7 years old. This is when the Fanconi’s Anaemia will need intervention in the form of a bone marrow transplant.

$30,000 is needed urgently needed to take baby Nathan for various tests which include buying his hearing aid, travel costs, hospitalisation, medication, therapies and splints with other costs to be incurred later. For contributions call Zimbabwe number +263772432689 or use the World Remit to offer your help. http//www.gofundme.com/vh7qz768





Mathew Masinge

Mathew is based in Harare and works as a Journalist for The Herald, Zimbabwe’s largest daily newspaper.


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