school guide
assistive technologies

Meet the Parents

Mario and Jade Da Silva

Mario and Jade Da Silva

Mario and Jade Da Silva

Pension Fund Administrator

Super mom, art teacher, teacher to our children, care giver to Aiden, the list goes on....

Age of parents:
32 and 30

Child’s name:
Aiden Da Silva

6 years old.

Is this your only child?
No, we have two other children aged 9 and 2 1/2 years

Diagnosis of child:
Aiden has severe narrowing of his airway (supraglottic and laryngeal stenosis), for which he has a tracheostomy and feeding tube.  Aiden is also a left hemiplegia, which resulted from a stroke. Aiden also has CVID (common variable immune deficiency).

What are the biggest challenges facing your child on a daily basis?
Aiden gets tired very easily. So playing with friends, sports and activities are a challenge for him. But he is such a determined little boy that he puts his all into everything, to the best of his ability.  Aiden is limited to what he can take in orally, basically anything that is liquidised (or sugar based) when swallowed can cause him to aspirate. So the odd treat of chocolate or a sweet is a no go. He’s such a champ with this and is accepting of what he can and can’t eat and drink.

What are the happiest moments you have with your child on a daily basis?
Aiden is such a character, and has the most amazing smile.

Are you a single parent or married? Married.

Has your special needs child had an effect on your marriage?
There have most definitely been some tough times. At one point Aiden was being hospitalised every 2 weeks, and this was tough, as we would hardly see each other, let alone spend time together, we were playing tag team doing shift changes, as we have other children needing our attention and care, and jobs to hold. But God’s been good to us, and made our marriage so much stronger.

What has your child taught you about yourself, both positively and negatively?
This whole journey has taught us to put all our trust in God. For without Him we would be wrecked, and so very lost. Knowing God has taught us to be thankful for our situation, and to find faith in the turbulent times that we have so often found ourselves in.

Are your family and friends supportive?
Yes, very supportive.

Do you take time out, if so what do you do to relax?
Taking time for yourself is hugely important. We find that doing the simple things in life are best. Whether it be watching a movie together, listening to music, sitting outside listening to the birds chirp. We enjoy going for walks in our neighborhood with our children riding their bicycles, or taking Aiden to ride his quad bike, which he absolutely loves.

What has made the biggest difference to your child’s quality of life?
I think it is massively important for one to come to terms with the situation at hand. This has helped us to seek (endlessly) the right help that Aiden requires. As a family we also talk about everything that goes on, from surgical procedures to the next step needing to be taken. Our eldest daughter is very hands on and is able to suction Aiden when he needs it and is also trachi trained. Aiden takes his illness in his stride, accepting his circumstances, as difficult as they are. He has learned to work around his difficulties and enjoy life to the full.

What is your dream for your child?
Presently we are planning and raising funds to take Aiden to Switzerland, to seek medical and surgical assistance there. Our doctors in Cape Town have suggested this, as no doctor in RSA has dealt with a case with Aiden’s complexity.  We want Aiden to lead a normal life - to be able to breathe well, have friends to play with, to reach his own dream of becoming a scientist or inventor one day.


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