Five weeks after doctors put a two-week deadline on his life, Baby Kevin Kasumba beat the odds and returned home from India last Saturday with a beaming beautiful smile.
This is because of a successful heart and throat operation at Manipal hospital in India. The operation became a reality after a fundraising drive from friends and well- wishers. Baby Kevin’s smile softened the hearts of the brains behind the fundraising drive, led by Joan Magezi, who broke down and cried when he and his mother Josephine Nakiberu arrived at Entebbe International airport.
The three-year-old baby with multiple heart disorders has been in India for more than a month undergoing several operations. One of the operations is a pulmonary arterioplasty, where a shunt was put in his heart to help with the flow of blood. His throat was also operated on to allow his respiratory system to function normally and ease breathing.
Nakiberu said Kevin’s life was gradually improving and he can do things which he could not do before due to the heart problem. She said his appetite had improved and he now wanted to eat his favourite foods such as rice, Irish potatoes, meat and porridge.
“He used not to take milk but now he takes it without getting any complication,” she said. “He used to have blue lips and nails but after the operation, they turned to their normal colour.”
Nakiberu added that Kevin now stands a good chance to start walking for the first time in his life, according to the doctors.
“The doctor told me that if he eats well and gains some weight, he will be able to walk because what was preventing him from walking was worked on. As you know, he has never walked all his life so, this will be too great for us,” said Nakiberu.
Nakiberu revealed that before leaving India for Uganda, she had failed to find money to cover the extra-hospital bills, which had accrued from the emergency throat operation she had not anticipated.
“I was discharged on Wednesday [last week] from the ward but since I had not yet fully paid the hospital bills, I left them my passport as I waited for people to fundraise for me the $5,000,” she said.
With the return flight scheduled for that next day, Nakiberu says she would have missed the flight if the fundraising effort back home had flopped.
“Joan did all she could to send me the money on Thursday and I managed to clear the bill. Global Treatment Services helped me to clear all the hotel bills,” she said.
When Nakiberu cried out to the public for help, it was a loving mother’s last-ditch attempt to save the life of her child who doctors had given only two more weeks to live.
Now, buoyed by the success of her efforts so far, Nakiberu says she is determined to finish what she started. Baby Kevin needs one last operation to close the hole in his heart as well as clean the veins before he is given a clean bill of health.
Nakiberu says that as soon as her son gets better and can stay at home, she will look for any paying job which can help to cover the costs of the last operation. She will also continue to fundraise to ensure that Kevin is completely healed. She needs another $10,000 before she travels back to India within a year.
Source : The Observer