Jewel Aimal Wanga was born a healthy baby on September 23, 2016 to Juma Wanga and Judith Amuge. In the first two months of her life, Jewel was a healthy child.
But after that period of time, she, started having crisis after crisis. Every time Aimal fell sick and was taken to hospital, doctors would say she had an infection. She would fall sick at least three times in a period of two months.
“At six months, Aimal got a fever for three consecutive days. We took her to Mengo Hospital where the doctor told us that she had an acute viral infection. We were given medicine and sent home still oblivious of the fact that our baby had sickle cells,” Amuge says.
Amuge says one day Aimal cried for hours and she and her husband Wanga thought she would eventually get tired and fall asleep. But she didn’t. They decided to take her to the hospital early the next morning.
“With just one look at her, the doctor asked how long she had been sick, adding that she looked anaemic,” Amuge narrates. Test were done on Aimal and it was found that she had sickle cell disease. The doctor counselled them and told them what to do to make Aimal’s life easier.
Bone marrow transplant, “On October 29, Aimal had a terrible crisis. We spent two weeks at Mengo Hospital, with seven days on oxygen support and blood transfusion," Amuge shares.
The doctor explained that the blood level was too low and her red blood cells too weak and she could not breathe properly. He said her spleen keeps enlarging and in a long run could be cancerous. We had two options; let her spleen be operated on but she would have to stay on medication her entire life, or have a bone marrow transplant and be completely cured.” she explains.
According to Dr Benjamin Watyaba, a medical officer in charge of the Sickle Cell department at Mengo Hospital, a bone marrow transplant is always the best option, but it is very expensive.
“Since she has two siblings, we are going to do a human leukocyte antigen (HLA) test to see which one of them either has a full or half bone marrow match with the patient and therefore who her donor can be.” Dr Watyaba says.
Call for help
To collect funds needed for the bone marrow transplant which is Shs300m, the family has made a fundraising drive at Old Kampala S.S Football pitch on December 7, 2019 On the day fun activities will include games on bouncing castles, face painting, swimming and cake cutting. Your car and motorcycle will also be washed for Shs 50, 000 and Shs25, 000 respectively.
The event will start at 10am and entrance fee for children is Shs30,000 and for adults Shs10,000.
Contributions can also be sent to;
ACC NO: 005201000035
Name: AMUGE JUDITH
BANK: BRAC UGANDA BANK LTD
ACC NO: 3200729606
NAME: AMUGE JUDITH
BANK: CENTENARY BANK