Naledi Thahanyane (4) from Johannesburg was 6 months old when she was placed in the care of Juno Aurora Haven, a home for abused and neglected children in Sandton.

Fragile at first, the charismatic young lady soon went on to reach her milestones in leaps and bounds.

“When we met little Naledi, she was tiny and underdeveloped. With healthy food, love, and encouragement, we have seen her blossom into the princess she is today. She is such a vibrant, inquisitive, busy, and loving child. She steals the hearts of everyone who meets her” -says Melody Eggar, a volunteer at Juno Aurora Haven.

Pictured above: Melody Eggar with Naledi

When Naledi was taken to a pediatrician for a regular checkup three years ago, it was discovered that she had a heart defect, a growth just below the left aorta. The news was devastating to her caregivers and so began the waiting game.

Waiting for the growth to increase in size, to be safely removed, her cardiology team at Johannesburg Hospital saw Naledi for regular visits, to determine when her surgery should take place.

Pictured above: BackaBuddy Team member- Zane and Naledi have grown a strong relationship

In May 2020, upon seeing a slight trickle of blood mixing, Naledi’s doctor gave the go-ahead for her to have surgery within the 6 months to follow.

After her surgery was scheduled, Juno Aurora Haven launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy, in hopes to raise the much-needed funds to correct the hole in Naledi’s heart and ultimately save her life.

“Over the past few weeks Naledi has been tiring more easily and sleeping more than usual. We are doing our best to keep her safe and keep her spirits up. We know that without this operation, she won’t be with us for her next birthday, and that’s too difficult to contemplate. We hope the public will support our BackaBuddy campaign so we can save our little earth angel” – says Melody.

Thanks to the generous donations from over 130 donors, Naledi underwent successful surgery, and her campaign raised over R200 000 covering the costs of her operation, medication, medical supplies, sterilization equipment as well as a home nurse. 

After Naledi’s first check-up since her heart surgery, it is with great joy to hear that she is recovering well and her doctor will only need to see her again in a year. 

View Naledi’s crowdfunding campaign by donating here:

About BackaBuddy:

  • BackaBuddy is a proudly South African crowdfunding platform where individuals have the opportunity to raise funds for causes they feel passionate about.
  • BackaBuddy has raised over R200 million for various charities, individuals and causes across South Africa.
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