I would like to share 2 balloons that belong to 2 precious souls. There are 2 lovely small ladies who come for admission every 3 months. They are 2 girls aged 7 and 8 years old and are always together when they come . Lets call them the 2 girls S & J.
They have a condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta. This condition is also called Brittle bone disease. Their bones break very easily with very slight provocation. Some could even break as they have a small fall like when playing or when the hand is slightly roughly handled when dressing. OI as its sometimes called makes children not achieve their height because of frequent fractures. In very severe forms — the children are unable to walk and are on a wheelchair. Each time the fracture occurs it needs to be treated by either applying a cast or surgery. Some can have fractures every year.
To prevent repeated fractures, they have been coming for infusion of some medication over 3 days that helps to prevent these fractures. It took a long while to get this medication locally in Machakos and were are glad that at least they are able to go to school and be functional like other children. Without the OI meds, they will have fractured more frequently and now the last time one of them had a fracture was last year.
S & J can be very charming. They help me know when the 3 months are over since they receive the medication every quarter. When I’m in my office I hear some girls laughing in the clinic. They will come to greet me and say hello. They also knock on Dr Nguku office and come in so say hi when they are on the way to the hospital for admission. They also like to colour very much and like balloons as well.
The other day I was in the hospital walking to the operating theatre… I hear some girls laughing loudly behind me. They were following Joseph who assists us in theatre, walking and jumping behind him. He was coming to prepare for a case and they were in the hospital compound. S’s mum was washing clothes so they had gone to keep her company. So they followed Joseph.
They followed us to theatre and gave a balloon which has some drawings on it to one of our patients who was having surgery. They insisted that I give him one and write his name on it. They wanted that I blow for them a glove to a large balloon and write a message on it. The patient was actually kept the glove-balloon and went with it to the ward. He had been having a difficult time since he fractured and got an infection. I’m so glad that S & J despite their condition were able to put a smile on this patient.
These girls are always happy and in the paediatric ward, they know all the other patients and insist that they all be given a balloon. Even the hospital staff in the kitchen know them. I wonder if they usually lobby for an extra portion of special food.
I’m so grateful that the OI medication has helped this girls. They are a blessing and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them. I’m sure its a bright one.