A Tale of 2 stories
Many times in my line of work, I meet interesting people. Most come my way for treatment. I met a young chap who i learnt so much from. He still affords to smile and laugh despite his circumstances. I met also an exceptional young lady who had a powerful story too. This is the story of a young Kenyan Boy.
“My name is Rogers Kasyoka Mbula, I’m 17 years old. I live in Nairobi, Embakassi, Mukuru wa Jenga slum. I like football. I thought I would be a superstar in football. That was what I liked most but, unfortunately my leg got problems. So I’ve had to part with the story about football and just do think only of education because, in the end if I do football I just be a wasting myself. But I like Biology and my best food is chips. I love chips because I think its good for me and it gives me energy. I like biology because of the fact that I have a problem with my leg. So I’m interested in dealing with people like me. My leg is bent halfway between my knee and foot and I have a wound that keeps leaking pus.
It started like a small pimple on the leg. I was staying in the village with my grandmother, I informed my parents, but no one seemed to be in my moods, they told me it was just something normal. It persisted for a while then I was taken to hospital-General. They thought I had a broken leg and put a plaster on me. When the plaster was removed some months later, the leg was swollen. I was taken to a mission hospital where I spent one month in hospital and had surgery. After that the leg healed but pus will kept coming out. It has been a while. The issue with what is wrong with my leg is ignorance and not having money. It has been there for a while. Everyone sees the leg is bent and no one is concerned that much until I went to school where the sisters thought it is good for me to get treated. Now at least I can see a bit of light. I have been told that to treated and to be well, I will either be admitted for a long period of time and have several surgeries to clean the leg, or to cut off the leg & get an artificial one.
I want to do Bachelor of medicine & Bachelor surgery, it may be more profitable for me . I want to help people, people in the village to discover their health problems before they get worse. Not to get worse, like my situation and for them not to get a cure. I think I want to help people. I know there are people there in the village, struggling to get their medication, fearing get out to talk to people. These are people like me, who fear saying it out that they have a leg problem and I would just like to sort out those people. Take them, educate them and tell them they have a future. To tell them how good life is if you are well… the good things in life. . Like me
I don’t fear loosing time of school because of the leg, what I fear is the story of being cut of the leg and being put an artificial one. I don’t like it, its not good because in the future, it will be challenging for me. How will we afford the artificial leg, and how will I be in Jenga walking with out a leg. Schooling will not end; I will go back, I will just continue with it. I’m tired of people not seeing me as Rogers but the boy with the bent leg with pus. ”
Rogers, came to our clinic after being brought by a well wisher who brought him to hospital for surgery. He needed corrective surgery in two stages. The first stage would involve surgical treatment of the infection and on a future date correct the deformity. He was admitted the next week and after two surgeries, it was noted that the infection was not getting better and he would need more surgeries and a longer hospitalization than previously anticipated by his sponsor. However, his sponsors were not willing to spend any more on his treatment and they requested for a discharge from the hospital. We have since then seen Rogers at our clinic several times. The wound that is on the leg is getting better but he still needs readmission in hospital to continue treatment to ensure that the infection is controlled and all the wounds have healed if not the leg would be amputated."
I realise that we have to be creative in our solutions for patients. Sometimes there is no easy answer and I would wish I was in an ideal setting where we have universal health insurance that is unlimited. However we have to make do in the circumstances we are in and many times pray for miracles. Levis and I had been feeling discouraged that no new solution seemed to be coming our way soon. Of late I had been praying for this young man as a mad woman. I think I told God about him at every opportunity I thought of him. Somehow it felt like I no longer had favour with Him any more. Why was God taking long to answer? I was concerned about the timing. I had trusted Him for financial provision for this young man.
Today morning as I sat in the clinic I remembered this verse from Psalms 50: 10-12 " For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the field are mine" I thought of a beautiful white peacock I had once seen somewhere. It was such a beautiful bird. I thought of how He knows everything and surely He cares for his creation, including insects. Therefore He cares very deeply for this young man and He can provide for Him and also heal him.
God reminded me in the later verses that He knows about this young man. He knows the suffering he is going through, the pain the mother has when she sees her son. He loves them and He is still in charge. The verses I read later really ministered to me. Psalms 50: 14-15 " Sacrifice thanks offerings to God, fulfil your vows to the Most High, and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you will honour me." I know that it will be a testimony one day.
Its amazing that immediately after that my close friends our church administrator and my pastor came to the clinic. They had come on a totally different matter. As they entered, they notice Rogers and our church admin tells me that she had a similar story.
"I had even forgotten what it is like to live like that. Look at my right ankle. See this scar, I had a leg problem too. This was back when I was in Standard Seven( thirteen years old). My ankle was painful and swollen. We went to hospital and saw a health worker. They said that I had sprained my ankle and said I needed to be put a plaster. I told them I don't remember spraining my ankle. We were then sent us to see the other doctor, so that he puts the plaster. He looked at my foot and felt it was hot. I thank God for him. He said that I shouldn't be put for a plaster and sent me home on antibiotics.
Somewhile later, my ankle started oozing pus and it was very smelly. I had to have my leg cleaned every day and dressed with sugar to control the infection and smell. I was told that I can't go to school and not to walk on the leg. I knew that I would probably have to repeat standard seven. Next year I was to be a candidate. Mum said that I will not miss school. Everyday, my mum carried me on her back, to school. We didn't have a car and it was not like these days when we have bodabodas. She ensured that I don't miss out. For a whole year, this was my case. The wound was very smelly. One year letter I was much better and had to learn how to walk again. I hadn't walked for a year. Now I'm ok. Its so long ago. I can't believe it was such a long time ago. I hadn't thought about this until now. And I'm fine. I thank God for healing me and restoring me back to normal. "
The biggest lesson was that God is faith and he knows what we are going through.