Maurice, Ann’s husband, came to see us about giving assistance to his wife who needed chemotherapy. She had developed a tumor towards the end of last year and was told by the doctor she saw in the village they lived in, that the case was beyond their capability and was advised to seek help in Nairobi. She travelled to the big city, Nairobi, where her husband lived and worked as a manual labourer. Ann comforted herself that even though she could only travel with the youngest of their six children, she would be back soon with the others. She was glad that her mother was happy to step in and take care of them until Ann returned.
Ann was sent to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), the largest public referral hospital in East Africa, where the diagnosis of cancer, Stage III, was confirmed. This generally means that the tumor is larger than 3 centimeters and/or the disease has spread to other parts of the body. Maurice and Ann were not happy with the progression in KNH and so moved to Kijabe Mission hospital for further tests.
At this point, Ann sent word back to her family that she might be in Nairobi longer than the expected few days as it had been confirmed that she had the dreaded disease. The family immediately began looking for a solution and on hearing that there was a doctor in Uganda who had a proven track record of ‘healing’ cancer, they decided to take Ann to see him. Sadly, all the doctor could do was prescribe medication to boost Ann’s immunity. He recommended that she go back to Nairobi for further treatment.
NHIF, the National Hospital Insurance Fund in Kenya, has been of great help to many, covering some of the costs for treatment, but the amount the patients need to come up with as their contribution is still beyond what many can afford. By the time Ann and her husband came to see us, they had only been able to pay the subscription for four months, an amount that could not cover the anticipated costs of her treatment. This only added to the despair they were already in. Ann was very weak by this time and in pain from the oozing wound in her breast. We quickly arranged for a taxi to collect her from as close to her home as possible and sent her straight to one of our partners, Nairobi Radiotherapy Cancer Centre, where she was found to be seriously dehydrated, in addition to everything else that was going on.
Ann received radiation treatment but then soon after, had to be hospitalized as she quickly deteriorated and needed to be on oxygen. She was eventually released, with both Twa and Nairobi Radiotherapy reminding her to call if she needed anything at all. Maurice eventually quit his job to take care of Ann as she was not able to do anything for herself. We kept checking on them but sadly, about a month later, Ann passed away. It was a case of an aggressive form of cancer caught too late.
We are glad that we were there for Maurice and Ann, and that we did all we could to help them. We are thankful that we had the opportunity to communicate God’s love to them and to pray with Maurice, both when he came by our office, as well as on the phone. He needed comfort that only God can give, and even after his wife passed away, Maurice said again and again how grateful he was that there were people to stand with him during this very difficult time. We always hope for the best, and for miracles in cases where there seems no hope, and God does perform miracles – sometimes in restoring health, but always in restoring hope and giving comfort in dire situations.
We are grateful that with your support, we have been in a position to show loving kindness to those in need. It is not about the outcome of the disease, but that everyone who walks through our doors, or speaks with us on the phone; anyone who we connect with in whatever way, knows that they do not walk this journey on their own. And for those who leave this world before us, they go, knowing that they need not fear, for God Himself is with them. Not even death can separate us from His love. [Romans 8:38-39]
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