Mother seeks help for baby daughter with heart condition 


A single mother of two is praying for a miracle for her five-month-old daughter who was born with a heart defect.  

At just two months, Jahziah McKenzie was diagnosed with Atrioventricular (AV) Canal Defect, which is commonly referred to as a ‘hole in the heart.’  

Speaking with the News Room, Ephah McKenzie said she “scraping” to make ends meet and is appealing to the public for assistance to help save her little angel. 

Originally from Linden and now residing in the capital city, she recalled that on September 29, 2018, at just 32 weeks pregnant, she was told by doctors that her baby needed to be delivered immediately.  

“She was so tiny, the doctors felt she was not going to make it. She was in the incubator for an entire week before she was taken out but her tummy was puffed up,” the mother remembered. 

 A month later and the baby’s abdomen was still swollen and she developed breathing complications.  

Ephah became worried and so she took all her savings and visited a private hospital in Georgetown when an echocardiogram confirmed her worse fears.  

Her hopes were further shattered when she was told that treatment was not available at the hospital due to the lack of equipment that is needed for pediatric heart surgery.  

A second echocardiogram at the Georgetown Public Hospital on February 15 confirmed that surgery is the only solution to save the baby’s life.  

“They told me she had two holes in her heart, one small one that was supposed to close when she was born and a bigger one, plus her kidney was swollen and she was retaining water in her lungs but the major problem at the time was that it had become septic…when I hear all this I almost fainted, I could not believe it,” the distraught mother said. 

Ephah quit her job so that she can take care of her daughter full time and has since reached out to the Saving Hands Emergency Aid (SHEA) – a non-governmental organization – for assistance.  

The organization has accepted the case and is presently trying to raise funds to get Jahziah out of the country to receive urgent medical attention. 

While she is focusing on the infant, the mother is also trying to make ends meet for her daughter who attends secondary school in Georgetown. 

“Jahziah brings joy to my family and we can’t imagine losing her. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t pray for a miracle.” 

Persons desirous of assisting can make donations to: or directly to Ephah Mckenzie. 

Bank Account Number:520-220-5 

Republic Bank Guyana Limited 38-40 Water Street, Georgetown, Guyana. 

Swift code: RBGLGYGG 

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