Baby Zenade. Photo: BackaBuddy

Baby Zenade needs to find a liver donor for a life-saving transplant, here’s how to help

The parents of Zenade need to find a living donor willing to part with a small piece of their liver. The 11-month-old baby’s life depends on it.


Baby Zenade. Photo: BackaBuddy

Zenade, the son of a Basic Life Support paramedic, desperately needs a life-saving liver transplant. Due to a number of medical conditions, the transplant must be carried out far away from his family home in Cape Town and will require his mother, Nomaphelo, to take at least three months off from work.

Nomaphelo’s colleagues at ER24 have started a crowdfund in the hope of gathering enough money to cover some of the costs associated with the operation.


Zenade was born prematurely at 33 weeks on 12 November 2020. He became jaundiced shortly after birth and was treated with phototherapy, which did not improve his condition, according to Tayan Brittz, one of Nomaphelo’s colleague’s who set up the BackaBuddy page.

According to Brittz, “the neonatologist then suspected something more sinister was at play. Zenande was sent for an MRI and diagnosed with the following:

  • Born without a Gallbladder (Gallbladder agenesis)
  • Born without a Spleen (Asplenia)
  • Blockage of bile ducts from the Liver (Biliary atresia)
  • Malrotation of the Intestines
  • Abdominal organs on opposite sides (Situs inversus)”

Due to Zenade’s congenital abnormalities, a team of specialists based in Johannesburg must carry out the liver transplant he requires. Meaning that Nomaphelo and her son will have to leave their home in Dunoon, Cape Town, and live near the hospital for three months after the transplant in order to attend consultations, undergo tests and for other reasons.

According to the crowdfunding page, Zenade and Nomaphelo have recently returned from Johannesburg where blood and tissue work was completed and the family has more than R30 000 in medical bills to deal with.

The petition is split into two parts. Firstly, Zenade needs to find a liver donor. Therefore, his mother is appealing to the public to find a living donor willing to part with “a small piece of liver.” The money raised will also be used to house Zenade and Nomaphelo near Wits Donald Gordon Hospital, pay for flights and groceries and help tackle their mounting medical bills.

“If a liver is not found soon we do not know how much longer Zenande will live. Noma currently lives month to month and does not have the financial security to be without work for 3 months,” said Brittz.

If you are willing to part with a piece of your liver “for a beautiful, kind and playful young boy who deserves to have his whole life ahead of him,” head to this link to complete a questionnaire: https://dochub.com/er24wm/gYzM7mBwDrb8ZYkKqJ6EoO/paeds-liver-donor-evaluation-questionnaire-pdf?dt=SZCYNPXSSbcME9WtWHx_

Alternatively, Zenade’s BackaBuddy page can be found here: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/nomaphelo-lukubane