East Ham miracle baby who survived heart attack and multiple organ failure turns two

Chenny Nikemake with son Zikora Wright.

Chenny Nikemake with son Zikora Wright. - Credit: Archant

Miracle baby Zikora celebrated the second birthday his mother never thought he’d live to see last week - and her dearest wish is to raise money for the hospital that saved his life.

Zikora undergoing treatment in Great Ormond Street Hospital when he was just over a year old.

Zikora undergoing treatment in Great Ormond Street Hospital when he was just over a year old. - Credit: Archant

An artificial heart beats inside Zikora Wright to sustain his tiny body after he suffered a cardiac arrest and multiple organ failure before he was put on life support at just 13-months-old.

Zikora Wright celebrates his second birthday.

Zikora Wright celebrates his second birthday. - Credit: Archant

Mum Chenny Chinenye Nkemaka, 37, from East Ham, first noticed Zikora “wasn’t feeling himself” after he caught a cold.

Zikora Wright on his second birthday.

Zikora Wright on his second birthday. - Credit: Archant

She said: “It just so happened that I took him in to see the doctor just after 9 o’clock that morning and they told me that if I had not, for whatever reason, he would have been dead by half past 12 that day.”

Zikora Wright celebrates his second birthday with sisters Ona, left, and Dili.

Zikora Wright celebrates his second birthday with sisters Ona, left, and Dili. - Credit: Archant

Little Zikora’s sniffle had turned into a virus which had lowered his immune system so he was unable to fight a condition called Myocarditis which attacked the muscles around his heart.

Chenny Nikemake with son Zikora Wright.

Chenny Nikemake with son Zikora Wright. - Credit: Archant


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The doctor knew something was seriously wrong when his lips began to turn blue and Zikora was rushed to Newham General Hospital where he had a heart attack.

He was then transferred to Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH) where his lungs and kidneys failed and he was put on a life support machine.

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Chenny said: “I was losing my mind. It was such a traumatic time. We were living second by second, hoping he would get through it.”

Staff made the decision after three weeks to take him off life support and replace his heart with an artificial organ known as a Berlin heart and he was allowed to return to his home and his two sisters in Rancliffe Road last Christmas Eve.

As Zikora’s second birthday approached last Friday (Aug 30), Chenny remembered the care he received at GOSH.

She said: “It’s heaven on earth! I have to raise money for them. I am just so grateful. To them it’s just a job but they came down to your level to speak to you about everything that was going on and they cared so much.

“I didn’t know human beings cared that much until that happened to me. My daughters go to St Edward’s primary school in Upton Park and the teachers, my church, the neighbours offered me so much support.”

Chenny wanted to do a bungee jump to raise money but then she fell pregnant with twins so instead she is asking for family, friends, and generous members of the public to donate via her JustGiving page by clicking here.

She is also holding a special fundraising birthday celebration for Zikora at Our Lady of Compassion Catholic Church in Upton Park from 10.00am- 8pm on October 6.

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