What it is all about…


Ben was born with a complicated long gap oesophageal atresia.  He had his first operation when he was one day old.  He had a long gap OA which could not be primarily repaired and the surgeons brought out a gastrostomy (feeding tube in the stomach) and oesophagostomy (small opening for saliva in his neck).  When he was 4 months old he had a gastric pull-up and spend a long time in hospital.  We realized what parents had to go through and decided that no one should go through this alone.  It took us a while but due to our experience, Ben and all the wonderful children and families in South Africa, we decided to start this group.  There are many stories like this and we hope to help all patients and their families.  

Werner and Corné (parents of Ben)

Co-Founders and directors of OATSA

When I first heard Chris would be born with this condition, I felt confused at helpless.  He had had a half-dozen tubes coming out of him and had to have surgery straight after he was born.  I felt afraid and alone and it was hard to trust that he would recover.  Today when I look at him running off to school with his backpack, I feel proud and amazed at how far he has come.

Louise (mom of Chris)

Director of OATSA

Jo-Haiden with an OA and TOF repaired soon after birth at Tygerberg Children’s Hospital.  Had 2 dilatations to date and are doing well.


Cape Town

Madi was born with a pure OA.  She had a long hospital stay and a stomach pull-up.  She also had an aortapexy and several feeding tubes.  Today she is 8 and an older sister and I am very proud of her.

Mom of Madi, Sally

OATSA Ambassador, KZN

Lwanele was born 1 June 2017.  He weighed 1.6 kg and was diagnosed with a TOF, hydrocephalus, encephalocele, tracheomalacia and laryngomalacia and had an imperforated anus.  He had 4 major surgeries in the first year of his life.  Today he is 3 years old and going strong…

Mom Chelesani


Heinrich was op dag 3 geopereer vir ‘n Tipe C OA en was 3 weke in NICU.  Hy het daarna met ‘n koppie gevoed, totdat hy sterk genoeg was om te borsvoed.  Hy het 11 dilatasies gehad voor hy 18 maande oud was.  Hy sukkel soms met sy longe, het soms kos wat vasteek en refluks as hy verkeerd eet, maar ontwikkel verder normaal.


Heinrich se ma

Shelton Tofile is almost 4.  He was transfered to George Mukhari Academic Hospital shortly after birth where he was diagnosed with OA.

Mom Ethel


Malia was born with VACTERL anomalies including OA and TOF.  She teaches me how to be happy and stay strong no matter what.   No obstacle is too big for her.  

Zurica (mom of Malia)

OATSA Ambassador, Mpumalanga

Akahlulwa is a beautiful, strong boy that was born with an OA.  He has spent many months in hospital and has gone through a number of surgeries.  He has conquerd all his challenges and is always happy and smiling.

Mom of Akahlulwa

OATSA Ambassador, Eastern Cape

Baby Hunter. Now much older and doing well.

10 years old paying it forward and leaving a messages for breast cancer patients….



Shortly after birth doctors found I had a condition called Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula and Oesophageal Atresia with Tracheobronchomalacia (TBM).

My past 25 years have been a journey to say the least, of both tough and good times.

As I grew up and got older, living with my condition became easier as my body adapted and I adjusted through trial and error with regard to eating patterns and habits, which foods worked or didn’t, day to day living, severity of colds, flu’s and pneumonias, signs when something is amiss and the severity of such things.

Today I am qualified as an Enrolled Nurse and wanting to pursue a further career in Emergency Medicine as a Paramedic,

Aiden Matthews

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