Windhoek – The child with a protruding tongue is set to fly to South Africa with her mother on Monday where she is expected to undergo an operation.
The little girl, Emilia Paulus, who turns three years next month, has been diagnosed with lymphangioma, which has affected her tongue.
According to an online explanation lymphangiomas are malformations of the lymphatic system characterized by lesions that are thin-walled cysts; these cysts can be macroscopic, as in a cystic hygroma, or microscopic.
The child has been in the central hospital for the past two months under the care of a private doctor and dietician.
Although the mother Emiliana Shisaande did not have all details at hand she confirmed to New Era they are leaving for South Africa on Monday. “I am happy my daughter is going to be operated on. I have been waiting for this moment for long,” said the mother who is also in hospital at the bedside of her daughter to help care for her.
The child’s condition started in 2004 when she was five months old. Her mother had noticed a swelling in her neck and her tongue began getting bigger which now protrudes out of her mouth.
The mother, a resident of Mix informal settlement which is about 20 kilometres north of Windhoek, has been covering her daughter’s tongue with a cloth, as some people have been mocking the child.
In an interview with New Era earlier this year, the unemployed mother said she felt the hospital was slow in treating her daughter for her condition to improve.
Shisaande said the nurses at Katutura hospital just told her to wait.
Emelia’s medical record shows that she should have been referred to a hospital in South Africa already last year July for an operation but she never went.
This year Emelia was referred to a local private hospital for treatment.
The Namibian Women Lawyers Association read about Emelia’s condition in the newspaper in August and stepped in to help with clothing and food for both the mother and daughter. They also ensured she received the medical attention she needed. The association is having a small sendoff party for Emelia and Shisaande this evening at the hospital.