Unshakable Love: A Mother’s Journey of Strength and Resilience
In Nairobi, Kenya, Rhoda Mboga, a loving mother of three, was living a bustling and busy life. Her second child, Logan Mboga, had just turned six months old. At this sweet age, most parents delight in their baby’s first steps or adorable giggles, but for Rhoda, it marked the beginning of a journey that would be filled with uncertainty. The travails that would follow in the days to come unveiled a reservoir of inner strength she never knew she possessed.
One evening, while feeding Logan, Rhoda noticed something unusual in his left eye, a shiny glint. Thinking it might be a reflection from the light, she dismissed it at first. However, when she saw it again while breastfeeding, she could not ignore it any longer. She called her husband Orutwa over, but he could not see anything out of the ordinary. Confused but not overly alarmed, they decided to keep an eye on it.
Their concerns deepened when, later that week, Logan became sick with a flu. They took him to the doctor and, in passing, Rhoda mentioned the mysterious shiny spot in his left eye. The doctor, while not an eye specialist, dismissed it as nothing to worry about but was quick to refer them to a specialist since he was not an ophthalmologist himself.
Armed with the appointment and determined to get answers, Rhoda and her partner went to see the eye specialist as advised a week later. They made the weekend trip to see the specialist, hoping to finally put their concerns to rest. Little did they know that this would be the moment their lives would change forever.
The specialist examined Logan’s eye with a lens, and Rhoda could sense from the doctor’s body language that something was amiss. She watched as the specialist hesitated before referring them to the hospital. Deep down, Rhoda’s motherly instincts told her that something was amiss. Their anxiety grew as they waited for an appointment at the hospital, desperate for answers.
In the meantime, the couple turned to Google, searching for clues about what could be affecting their precious son. They even tried to check Logan’s vision in the left eye by covering the right, which, by his reaction, indicated there was something wrong. Their world began to spin as they managed through the maze of medical appointments and referrals.
Finally, they reached Dr. Kahaki Kimani, an ophthalmologist who would quickly become a pivotal figure in their lives. During their first appointment, Dr. Kahaki Kimani addressed each and every one of their questions and concerns with honesty. They were grateful for the time and care Dr. Kimani provided them but what she had to say shook Rhoda and her husband to the core. The only way to save Logan’s life was to remove his left eye, a decision they had to make quickly.
“That broke me down,” Rhoda recalled. They were already grappling with the reality that Logan had lost his sight in one eye, and now they faced the agonizing choice of removing it entirely or risk losing the child to attendant complications if not operated on.
Within just two weeks, Dr. Margaret Njuguna – a colleague to Dr. Kahaki Kimani- surgically removed Logan’s eye at Gertrude’s Children Hospital. The eye was sent for histological examination, and during the agonizing wait for results, Rhoda clung to hope that it would not turn out to be cancerous. Sadly, their hopes were dashed when the results confirmed that it was indeed cancer.
Logan’s journey had only just begun. He embarked on a grueling series of chemotherapy sessions, done at Kenyatta National Hospital, each one taking a toll on his fragile body and his family’s emotional resilience. Balancing work, caring for their other elder son (Keegan), and supporting Logan through the difficult treatments became their daily struggle.
During Logan’s third chemotherapy session, which involved a transfusion, Rhoda and her partner were hit with yet another devastating blow. Dr. Kahaki Kimani, during an examination under anesthesia, discovered cancer in Logan’s remaining eye. Their hearts sank, and they had to summon inner strength to confront this new challenge.
The journey was fraught with uncertainty and fear, but they endured. Cryotherapy and Laser therapy were used to treat the cancer in Logan’s remaining eye. Fortunately, his vision, while not perfect, was preserved because they had caught the issue in time.
Post-surgery, Logan was fitted with a prosthetic eye, a somewhat challenging adjustment, especially when it came to cleaning and maintenance. However, Logan’s determination and resilience grew as he grew. He became fiercely protective of his prosthetic eye, confidently explaining to classmates why he had lost his real one.
Over the years, Logan’s self-esteem flourished, and he continued to master his unique situation. Regular check-ups at the hospital became a part of their routine. Initially, they were monthly, but as Logan’s health stabilized, they gradually decreased to annual visits. With each appointment, their confidence that Logan was doing well increased, but the emotional stress and financial strain remained constant companions.
Family and friends played an indispensable role in Rhoda’s journey. Her partner provided unwavering support, often accompanying Logan to appointments when she could not due to work commitments. Rhoda’s sister stepped in to help ensure Logan maintained a healthy diet, as every aspect of their lives, from finances to emotions, was tested.
The journey was long and arduous, with countless trips to hospitals that were sometimes hours away due to Nairobi’s notorious traffic. They navigated the complexities of paperwork and insurance, occasionally finding solace in the support of other parents they met along the way. Dr. Kahaki Kimani remained a beacon of support, guiding them through the darkest moments, even advising them not to fear having another child if those were their plans. Indeed, they went ahead to have a third child –Megan- who they took for eye checkup immediately after birth, as advised.
Rhoda and her family did not have the opportunity to join support groups or NGOs during this ordeal. It often felt as though they were living in their own world, battling a relentless storm of challenges and fears.
Through it all, Rhoda and her family learned the true meaning of strength and resilience. Logan, now a bit older and wiser, continues to thrive despite the odds stacked against him. Their story serves as a testament to the power of family, love, and unwavering determination in the face of adversity. Logan is now a pillar of strength and a shining example of confidence and resilience! Grateful that his family acted quickly and moved mountains to get him the care he needed. He is a living testament of hope. His family hopes too that Logan’s story will not only inspire but also guide other children and families. They see a bright future and look forward to encouraging others and sharing with the world just what can be achieved with faith, family, medical specialists and a community of support!