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By Seliphar Musungu, Kakamega
A family from Kakamega County is asking for financial assistance for the surgery of their son’s strange illness.
The family of Christine Shikuku from Kakamega county, Khwisero sub county, Emuhunzulu village is appealing to well-wishers to intervene and help in raising funds for their son’s surgery at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.
"During his healing process he developed a vesico-cutaneous fistula (came as a result of the failure of closure of the recto-urethral fistula) which demands another surgery to correct this problem," said Amuyuku.
Christine Shikuku, who is the mother of Hopekin Kwakha, said that her son developed the condition two days after birth.
“After I gave birth to my son I came to find out that my son neither urinated nor went for a long call,” said Christine.
Three days later, Shikuku took his son Hopekin to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga referral hospital in Kisumu where doctors examined and performed a surgery that failed and quickly referred him to a specialist at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.
“In Kenyatta, two scans were conducted, it emerged that following the surgery in Kisumu his urinary tract had been interfered with forcing urine to mix with other waste materials in the large intestine,” Christine explained.
Ready to save her son’s life, doctors in Kenyatta made a hole in his stomach and connected a duct to his large intestines to help ease passage of waste.
“The boy had anorectal malformation which led to the above procedure done and colostomy was installed,” said a Kakamega based specialist.
Doctors were not able to connect two surgeries on Hopekin due to his age. his mother was advised to let him grow under close supervision from the doctors until he is one year old then the surgery can be conducted.
“During his healing process he developed a vesico-cutaneous fistula (came as a result of the failure of closure of the recto-urethral fistula) which demands another surgery to correct this problem,” said Amuyuku.
The bill from the hospital accumulated to 300,000 shillings for the time Hopekin stayed in the hospital. This made the hospital management not discharge him until his bill is cleared.
“My husband and I have no jobs, we depend on casual labor to cater for our family, I was forced to stay in the hospital with my son while relying on my husband for food since food given in the hospital was strictly for my son”, Christine said.
Everything changed from bad to worse; as usual Christine was in the hospital looking after their sons Hopekin since they can’t be discharged due to failure to pay the hospital bill.
She was waiting for her husband to show up as usual since she was feeling hungry, so she tried to reach her on the phone to no avail. Christine decides to walk around the hospital and find something to eat.
As she was getting near the hospital gate Christine saw someone who looked like his husband being carried on a stretch from the ambulance, his clothes soaked in blood.
” I made a follow-up only to be told the person admitted at ward seven was Patrick Shikuku, my husband, he had been knocked by a car while on her way to bring me food”, she said.
Things were tough for as her husband and the father of 8 children was admitted to ward 7 in the same hospital where her son was, living behind 7 children with no one to look after them.
“The bill of the two increased to more than 500,000 shillings. Our efforts to sell household things to cater for the bill bore no fruit, further deepening my frustrations”, Shikuku said.
“Luckily the bill was waived off by the hospital’s management after 6 months allowing us to return home”, she added.
Back home no one from the community wanted to be associated with the family. Since they had sold almost everything remained with nothing Hopekins was forced to walk with rags around his belly to prevent waste from coming out uncontrollably.
“Urine and defecation came out of his body uncontrollably, its smell made him lose friends”, Said Christine.
Not giving up on his son, Christine hustled to get 600 every day to buy adult diapers for his son something that his teacher said that is draining him.
“As teachers we have tried our level best to help Hopekins family including coming up with a Whatsapp group to raise the required amount for him to go for surgery but hasn’t bore fruits”, Said Hopekins teacher, Grace Maluti
“We plea with the county government to set aside some budget to help in catering for the needs of such pupils”, added Hopekins head teacher.
A great milestone was made by Hopekin; he is now 12 years old, in class 4 at Emuhunzulu primary school.
This challenge has made Hopekins family to call on well-wishers all over the country to help and raise close to 1million shillings for his surgery so that he can live a normal life.