In October 2016, two days after Jordan-Lee Maneveld was born, his parents found out their son had a heart defect known as Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA).
This results in the two main blood vessels leading from the heart, remaining open when it is supposed to be closed.
Jordan-Lee, now two years old, had two heart operations when he was only three months old. The heart defect has affected his speech and he cannot walk properly.
“A doctor from London had to come and do the operation on Jordan,” said his mother, Natasha Maneveld, 37, from Westridge.
Ms Maneveld said: “(Within) two days of him being born, Jordan-Lee was a bit lame. We discovered that he had a murmur (on his heart). The duct hole was too big and therefore had to have two operations to fix it.”
Now, she added: “His mind is like a baby and he is very slow.”
“Sometimes it is frustrating but through the grace of God, I help my son as much as I can. There is progress but not too much; he is getting there,” she said.
Jordan-Lee’s duct, in between the two main arteries on his heart, is now closed and he is fine, said Ms Maneveld. He goes for regular check-ups, is monitored by his parents and medical staff at the hospital, and goes to speech therapy at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch.
“He was on heart medication but is off it now. He is still going to physio and cardiology for heart check-ups, and ENT (eyes, nose and throat) check-ups to see what could be affecting his speech,” his mother added.
“Jordan-Lee will be going for another operation as his penis is on top of his testicles (and) they need to separate the two.”
Ms Maneveld said they did not yet have confirmation when this operation would be done.
“A friend of mine had exposed me to Little Brave Hearts in Rondebosch at the hospital. (It is) a small community of mothers experiencing the same situation as mine. A mother I met at the gathering… her daughter had the same problem. They told her her daughter won’t make it. She then opened the group for other mothers. When we attend this, we get a sense of closure and feel better knowing that there is support from others going through the same thing.”
Ms Maneveld added: “Jordan-Lee likes playing with other children, always smiling with them. He is too big for the pram now. He makes me tired sometimes but I enjoy my time with him regardless.”
Ms Maneveld said Jordan-Lee could not eat any solids – only soft foods. The paediatrician at the hospital monitors his diet and mental health.
His father, Brandon Maneveld, 43, praised his wife for her commitment to taking care of Jordan-Lee.
“I am so grateful for my wife. She works really hard to protect and care for Jordan. I help where I can as much as I can. I don’t know how she does it.”
What makes it more difficult for the family is that Jordan-Lee’s parents are unemployed. They do not have a stove or any other electrical appliances and are slowly trying to gather things for their little house, said Ms Maneveld.
“Jordan needs more clothes and will be needing special boots for his feet. We need finances to receive this boot from the hospital so that Jordan will be able to walk properly,” she said.
To raise funds for the family, The Cape Deutschland Crew (CDC) held a charity park-off at the Kapteinsklip parking lot, on Sunday June 3.
CDC secretary, Megan Snyders, 26, from Westridge, said after hearing about Jordan-Lee’s condition from Mr Maneveld, they decided to help the family.
“His father comes and assists my family with odd jobs around the house. We started talking and learned that his son was ill and because of this we decided to get CDC involved on how we could help the family and also getting other clubs involved to help them.”
The founder and chairperson of CDC, Jernade Gallant, 35, from Somerset West, said: “We started our club in 2017, alongside my partner Marcel Snyders, 24, from Westridge. We saw the need for helping people and doing charity work. This led us to start our club and we have ventured on many events with the club to help others.”
The club’s vice-chair Faaiq Hardie, 33, from Hanover Park, said: “Our club would assist those whose houses have burned down, people who cannot afford to go to a matric ball or prom and help any family who do not have.
“We raise funds in order to help others.”
Ms Maneveld said: “I am so grateful for the CDC team (who) made us feel like there is hope. The things that Jordan received, he never had before, things that he needs for himself.
“My husband and I are very thankful for the team that helped Jordan. Jordan was really blessed by all on Sunday.”
If you wish to help Jordan-Lee and his parents, you can contact Megan Snyders at 084 648 8853.