David is the son of Henry a doting father who has no doubt figured out the secret of living a peaceful life in spite of challenges. Meeting them for a share your story session is a real pleasure.
David was not born with epilepsy. His seizures started after he had a fall while playing with his friends. His neck got swollen then he developed a fever which resulted in seizures. The parents rushed him into a private hospital where they diagnosed him with meningitis. The convulsions were coming every minute and instead of improving with the meningitis medication, the boy got worse. They went to a different hospital where he was admitted for four days.
‘Every test under the sun was made- EEG, MRI, ECG, Scans but nothing was showing.’
The family prayed a lot, until one day the child’s grandmother mentioned that she knew an old clinic where people that have convulsions are treated.
‘I was very suspicious, I thought she was directing us to a medicine man.’ Henry laughs.
The family brought David to the KAWE’s Riruta epilepsy clinic. The medical team was shocked that the little boy was on such a variety of heavy drugs. After a patient history was done, the drugs were all scrapped and he was put on a complete new treatment.
‘Would you believe that the convulsions that had made us make trips everywhere stopped after two days? I had been spending at least Ksh 10,000 per doctor’s visit with no improvement and here now was a low cost treatment that actually worked!’
Henry is very thankful for receiving the correct treatment for his son. ‘I have come to have great respect for doctors, I follow the instructions about my son’s medication with care.’
‘Having a sick child can take toll on a marriage but for us, we have actually grown closer. We pray a lot together and this has made us grow close to God too. As a father, I love my family and I will do anything for them. I take time out to hang out with my children.’
As a family, they have had to make changes even in the type of furniture they possess. They have given away glass furniture that pose potential harm to David in case of a seizure.
‘Having a sick child has made me and my wife ready to help others. My wife worked as a volunteer teacher for quite a while.’
‘It is sad that at times people look at us like we are the cause of our son’s illness, but I do not give them any chance now. In case I encounter someone that has suffered a seizure in a matatu or in another public place, I am ready to assist and take it upon myself to educate onlookers.’
Henry looks forward to the time his son will be completely seizure free.
‘ I know it’s possible. My son has not had a seizure since 2016.’
A word to all those parents out there raising children with epilepsy:
‘ When your child is not well, you are not well too. So you must take it upon yourself to have a grip on the direction your life will take.’