On the evening of July 1 st 13 year old Gladys whose mother attends the Joseph Centre suffered a stroke. She lost her speech, her hearing, and became paralysed down her right side.
She was carried by her mother and friends to the local hospital around 2 miles away from the village in which they live. The hospital is poorly equipped so the cause of Glady’s stroke was not investigated. She was treated with IV fluids and medication, namely antibiotics as she also had a fever.
The hospital advised Gladys be transferred to the main hospital in town but as it was a Friday evening, this couldn’t be arranged until the Monday. Added to this delay was the fact that it was the rainy season and the roads were almost impassable – it was doubtful an ambulance would be able to undertake the journey successfully.
Over the weekend, Gladys improved. Her hearing and speech returned and she was able to eat. However, the paralysis remained.
Gladys was discharged from the local hospital on Monday with instructions to present herself to the main hospital in town. A member of the Gap Kenya staff was able to accompany Gladys and her mum Esther to the hospital where the doctors said she required a ‘scan’. Gladys and Esther went to have the procedure and were told the results would be available the following week.
The scan turned out to be a chest x-ray and the results were normal so the hospital discharged Gladys without any further treatment or investigations being considered.
Gap Kenya contacted a private paediatrician for advice, and very quickly Gladys was given a brain scan, and blood tests taken which ruled out Sickle Cell Disease. The scan showed no abnormality within her brain which was reassuring, and the paediatrician advised that the cause could possibly have been meningitis. However, the time lapse has made this impossible to determine.
Gladys has just returned to school – she is a bright girl who always worked hard at her studies. However, she hasn’t regained any strength in her right side and is still unable to hold a pen or use her arm and hand properly. She finds walking difficult and has a limp.
Gap Kenya are in the process of finding and providing physiotherapy to try to improve things for Gladys. The difficulty is always in the remoteness of the villages – there are no services available in the proximity of Mwakirunge. But we are working on it and trying to find physios willing to travel the 12km on motorbikes to the village to treat Gladys at a price the charity is able to afford.
Without charities like Gap Kenya, children such as Gladys have to accept a disability which will impact the rest of her life – educationally and also long term as finding a marriage partner who will support her will be more difficult. She is unlikely to find employment and will join the ranks of those with disabilities who beg just to be able to survive.
Gap Kenya is making a difference in Glady’s life – but she needs your help too. Any contribution you make will help Gladys receive the necessary treatment and enable her to have the future she deserves.