Thandi was born just before Christmas 2004 at a poor government hospital outside of Johannesburg. In February, David was looking at an empty bed in Baby Haven and thought, “there is a baby out there who is supposed to be here with us.” He decided to go to this hospital and remind the social workers that Baby Haven had beds for babies. At the hospital, David was approached by several employees who knew he was the Director of Baby Haven, each saying the same thing: “there is a child here who was born healthy, abandoned by the mother but now is almost dead. Can’t you take her?”
In a system overwhelmed with orphans, Thandi, resident in a hospital ward, was not considered to be “in crisis.” But she had given up hope and had begun to refuse food. She was sick with respiratory illness contracted from another child and had badly infected bed sores. She had gained less then 1 kg (2.2 lbs) in 3 months.
When Thandi arrived at Baby Haven, her health improved daily, and she grew to be a wonderful, easy-to-please little girl. Eight months later, a childless Johannesburg couple of the same cultural heritage as Thandi took her home with them.