Little Nathan battles for his life

HE is only three years old but this little body has been pricked with injections for hours on end. He has gone through a transplant and suffered terrible after-effects of chemotherapy, which triggered bouts of diarrhoea — at its worst 26 times a day.


This week he was passing blood because his intestines have bleeding ulcers.

But in the midst of it all there has been an outpouring of support for Nathan Sanyanga from his family, friends, church and strangers from all over the world.
The youngest of the family, Nathan has been battling a rare genetic condition called Fanconi anemia, which required him to have a bone marrow transplant in India. His family launched an appeal to raise funds for the little boy who was only two years old at the time.

With a deadline to beat, the family went all out and touched the hearts of many who gave towards the cause including the health ministry. His story was shared in the media as well as various social networking platforms.

The family flew to India in March and Nathan’s b elder brother Raymond would be his donor for the transplant. As the rest of the Christian population was commemorating Good Friday, Nathan was being admitted at an Indian hospital.

“We were reminded of how our Saviour Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross and he uttered, “It is finished,” said Slyvia, Nathan’s mother.

In an act of selfless love Raymond shared his cells with his little brother after also enduring painful jabs and needles.

Slyvia and Eddie Sanyanga have remained resolute in ensuring that their little boy got the best attention and are grateful to those who have donated towards Nathan’s procedure.

“Nathan’s early diagnosis came to us as a shock. We were unprepared for the timing in every way and we feel that no matter how much we could have worked and saved, we would not have been able to meet the cost of Nathan’s treatment,” Sanyanga said.

The doctors had earlier on said that they wouldn’t need to worry about a bone marrow transplant until Nathan was six or seven which was about the time his older sister Natasha had one as well.

Natasha also had a rare condition which needed a transplant and went through the same process that Nathan is going through.

“What our brave three-year-old has taught me is not to give up. It has been a month after the transplant and it has been the most difficult month that we have faced as a family,” Sylvia said.

Nathan still continues to experience the terrible effects of chemotherapy.

“So we watched in anguish as Nathan passed diarrhoea 26 times a day. Stopped taking any food through the mouth and started feeding through a nasogastric tube. He couldn’t swallow with ulcers lining his mouth and his gut. He was very tired and stopped talking.

And then two weeks back he started taking sips of water and an energy drink that we gave him using a 10ml syringe and he continues to do this to date. He is still not taking solids,” Sylvia relates.

In the last few days according to Sylvia the bouts of diarrhoea moved to bouts of passing blood. Just pure blood — some of it with clots — and nothing else.

“He passed blood an alarming five times and we got really scared, then 10, then 50 over the weekend and we have since lost count,” she said.

But the brave little boy does not groan, nor cry, like is expected of children his age.

“He now has sores on his bottom and so we gently clean him up and after a terrible bout, I take him in my arms and whisper in his ear that everything is going to be alright.

I tell him how proud I am that he is such a strong and brave boy and that Jesus is going to make him well,” said Sylvia in a heart-breaking revelation.

The young parents have gone through a lot with Nathan’s mother curving to the pressure and being admitted after suffering a severe migraine.

But he husband took over and for seven whole days stayed with Nathan and changed his diapers, fed him, watched cartoons with him and made intermittent visits to see Sylvia when Nathan was asleep.

Nathan has continued to pass blood but the doctors there are doing everything they can to stop the bleeding. He has been getting blood transfusions when necessary and is being been given nutrients intravenously since he is not taking any food.

On social media Nathan’s battle for life continues to be shared and many prayer vigils are being held in various parts of the world for the little boy who is oblivious of all the attention.

The public health system in Zimbabwe is among the worst in Southern Africa. The facilities are operating without the most basic equipment.

This has resulted in many people seeking help from faraway places where there are better facilities which are reasonably priced. Private care in Zimbabwe is out of reach for the general populace which is not on medical insurance. Specialist care is exorbitantly priced even for those with medical insurance.

The health facilities are also being manned by a disgruntled workforce, which occasionally downs tools to press for better working conditions.

During the nurses’ strike student nurses manned some of the critical wards. According to a health watchdog Citizens health Watch (CHW) there was an increase in deaths in some wards in major hospitals.

“The challenge is that student nurses are meant to provide nursing care only and cannot prescribe any drugs even a paracetamol yet they are the ones manning our facilities.

The working hours for these student nurses were overstretched and most complained of burn out. Some were starting work at 7am and only knocking off at 8pm with breaks in between. This in itself exposes patients to further risks,” said Fungisayi Dube of CHW.


  1. Get well soon Nathan God will heal you.

  2. By His Stripes, you will be healed, brave little Nathan

  3. By His stripes, you will be healed, little brave hero Nathan

  4. it is well Nathan

  5. God will intervene for this family !!

  6. Nathan receive your healing in the name of Jesus, Amen

  7. Professor Jonathan

    God is your specialist Doctor beloved Nathan. You are healed

  8. Quite sad. Feels Like crying. But up there is the Lord. The brave young man will pull through. The family needs the support and prayers of everyone. Quite painful.

  9. As a mother I am really touched by this story .Get well soon dearest Nathan we are praying for you .

  10. The Lord is good all the time. He says call unto me and I will hear and answer your prayers. The almighty will heal Nathan

  11. It is well with Nathan and family. The same Lord Jesus who healed in the Bible is still doing so today

  12. God will fight for you, Nathan`s story will be a testimony for the entire world!

  13. may the lord heal you little boy

  14. ndiri kuona zambuko Nathan u my hero kudenga kuna Mwari satan hausvodi

  15. I declare HEALING pon di likkle SOULJAH.

  16. Joyce Banda Solomon

    Mwari poresai Nathan chivai ne mhuri yake vave nekusimba varambe vakatarira kwamuri varatidzei chiedza

  17. You are more than a conquer my dear you are healed in Jesus’ name

  18. You are more than a conquer my dear you are healed in Jesus’ name

  19. themba paakwa

    Get Well Soon NATHAN. And to the Mother, just be strong my sister. just be strong for Him and your Husband please.

  20. We pray for healing and restoration!!!



  22. All things are working together for your good Nathan. Eddie and Sly, count it all joy when you go through the divers test. Nathan is healed in the name of Jesus and the devil is a loser.

  23. May our god Lord reach Nathan in Jesus name i pray.Amen

  24. witness chipendo

    Mwari wemasimba ose ngavakurwire Nathan vagokusimbisa uye vape vabereki vako tariro nechivimbo chekuti, ” Nemavanga ake takaporeswa”. Mwari ngavanzwewo minyengetero yedu.

  25. all is well…. in jesus’ name i pray amen

  26. Comment…God heal Nathan for us

  27. Tendai Chingosho

    Get well soon Nathan, our prayers are with you Sylvia mwanangu and the whole family.

  28. God show yoself ,Yu are capable ,may Yu in yo Everlasting mercy health Nathan

  29. Ottis Masinare



    Our God is faithful always. Be healed in Jesus’s name

  31. Get well soon Nathan, God is with you and the family

  32. how can one donate torwards the family?

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