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The success story of how a baby beat the odds will be told at the Avenues Clinic for a very long time.

Rufaro Sithole Chagunda was born on August 18, 2010 to proud parents Ms. Susan Sithole and Garainashe Chagunda at the tender gestational age of 26 weeks.  The normal age for a baby to make an appearance into the whole is 42 weeks! It is not surprising therefore, that at that age, baby Rufaro was too sick to be weighed. Therefore, her exact birth weight is not known.

Soon after delivery, baby Rufaro could not breathe on her own and was immediately placed on mechanical ventilation in the intensive care unit. She remained there for 65 days. During this time she ran the gamut of all the complications known to afflict preterm babies such as heart murmurs, infections, anaemia, you name it. She required and underwent a number of blood transfusions and was also on antibiotic cover. Her fighting spirit was matched by the determination of her doctor and nurses who gave all they could to make Rufaro well. The nurses tell of the doctor never tiring of coming at all hours of the night to attend to the baby whenever she was reported to be in distress.  And of course, throughout this period, Rufaro’s parents were never far away. They spent most of days in the ICU, no doubt praying and willing the baby to pull through.

Indeed the road to recovery for our miracle baby was a long and difficult one. Precious nutrients were administered via a naso-gastric tube until day 83 when she was finally able to breast feed. Her initial weight was only measured when she was 33 days old and she came in at an encouraging 800grams. From that day on she was weighed every week and she showed a steady gain until December 1, her 106th day at hospital, when she weighed in at 2.290kg!  

It would be an understatement to say there was a general atmosphere of excitement at the Avenues Clinic when baby Rufaro was pronounced healthy enough to go home. It was no surprise therefore that a farewell party was promptly organized by the staff.

According to the Principal Matron, credit for the Miracle at Avenues goes to the doctor, staff, baby Rufaro’s parents and of course, Rufaro herself, who seemed determined to give her parents a Christmas present to remember!

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