Mum refused to abort miracle baby! Overcoming Challenges with Faith and Hope

Before giving birth, she received a heartbreaking diagnosis, with doctors warning her of a potential birth defect.

Despite being offered the option to terminate the pregnancy, this courageous 22-year-old from Braamfischerville, Soweto, placed her unwavering faith in God and decided to embrace the journey of motherhood.


Her daughter, Muhluri, now three years old, was born with a condition known as frontal encephalocele, which manifests as an opening in the baby’s skull, causing the head to expand.

When she first heard about her baby’s condition, Nikiwe feared the worst, picturing her child with a disoriented appearance. However, she clung to hope and prayed for a miracle, choosing not to terminate the pregnancy.

Recalling that challenging time, Nikiwe shared, “The picture that came into my head was that her mouth would be somewhere on her forehead. I was really expecting the worst, but that picture was wiped from my head after I gave birth. She came out better than I expected.”

But Nikiwe’s struggles did not end with her daughter’s birth. The family had to face the challenge of people looking at Muhluri strangely, and finding friends and a daycare that would accept her proved to be a constant battle.

Strangers’ stares weighed heavily on them, and finding appropriately sized clothes due to her enlarged head presented yet another hurdle. Nikiwe, always vigilant and protective, remained ready to defend her child from bullies.

The family learned to distance themselves from negativity, finding strength in each other and their unwavering faith. However, a ray of hope has now emerged in their lives. Muhluri and six other children are set to undergo life-changing surgery at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, beginning on Thursday, November 2, all thanks to the Smile Foundation.

While Muhluri had previously undergone surgery to remove non-functioning brain tissue from the area around her forehead, her upcoming operation is expected to provide more comprehensive treatment.

Dr. Jason Labuschagne, a neurosurgeon, explained that the procedure would last approximately eight hours and involve the removal of abnormal tissue, repositioning the brain that had protruded outside of the skull, and sealing off the skull.

Marc Lubner, the acting CEO of the Smile Foundation, expressed his appreciation for the work being done by the foundation, emphasizing their commitment to helping children like Muhluri from an early age to mitigate the emotional challenges they might face later in life.

Frontal encephalocele is a congenital disorder characterized by a portion of the brain tissue protruding through a defect in the skull, usually in the forehead region.

These encephaloceles can vary in size and severity, potentially affecting neurological and physical functions. Treatment typically involves surgery to correct the skull defect and reposition the herniated brain tissue, offering hope and a brighter future for children like Muhluri.


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