Sunday August 31 2014

14-year-old girl suffers from rare leg disease

By Steven Ariong

Last year, when one of Mary Angela’s legs started swelling, she did not take it seriously and went on with her usual routines. She helped around the house and went to school at Demonstration Primary School in Moroto District, dreaming of becoming a nurse one day.

However, the swelling got so bad that it could not be ignored anymore. The 14-year-old went to St Kizito Hospital, more commonly referred to as Matany hospital, for review. The doctor who first saw her could not identify what was causing her leg to swell, and recommended an operation.

On September 3, her leg was operated on.
“One week after the operation, the leg became normal. But after one month, it started swelling again and the doctors didn’t tell me exactly what I was suffering from,” Angela says.
At the different times Sunday Monitor has visited her home in Okorio village, Lokupoi Parish, Matany Sub-county in Napak District, the swelling looks to have grown bigger. Angela struggles to walk and is in a lot of pain.

At her last hospital visit, earlier this year, the health workers recommended another operation to bring down the swelling.
The Primary Six pupil is an orphan and is under the guardianship of Mr Philip Awas, a well-wisher, who found Angela lying on a veranda and took her in.

“The swelling has made her very uncomfortable but I don’t have the money that will help her get good treatment,” Awas says, appealing to anyone who can, to come to Angela’s aid.
Efforts to talk to the doctor who treated Angela and recommended the operation did not yield anything. The doctor was away in Italy and could not be reached. The other doctors at the hospital said they were not familiar with Angela’s case and had therefore recommended that she visits Mulago hospital.

However, Angela is in too much pain to move, something that has also contributed to a pause in her education.
“My leg has traumatised me. My school mates make fun of me, calling me gumboot girl,” she says.
The leg currently weighs more than seven kilogrammes and Angela looks forward to the operation which will reduce the swelling.

To help Angela, you can contact Angela through her caretaker on 0772885787. The number is also registered on mobile money.