This remarkable “Glow” Story was written by Margaret Wambui from Mpeketoni Lamu county, Kenya, who is the mother to Richie who is now 2 years 10 months old and is a retinoblastoma warrior.
When Richie turned 1 year old, he started developing fevers which upon visiting the hospital he was treated for infections. Two months later, we noticed the eyes were having gold flashing reflections especially at night. We thought it was normal.
When Richie was 1 year 4 months old, the left eye appeared red on a Monday morning so in the evening somebody advised me to put breast milk in that eye. On Tuesday morning, the case was now worse. I took him to an optician who after examining him gave us a referral to KNH and told us that it was a growth which needed to be removed.
Thursday morning we were at Kenyatta National Hospital clinic number 35 and an ultrasound was done. Dr. Angelina and Dr. Khadijah broke the news to me that was so heartbreaking…Richie had retinoblastoma, cancer of the retina.
We were admitted waiting for enucleation but his HB (hemoglobin level) was low and he had infections. Finally the left eye was enucleated and he began his chemotherapy. He received 6 courses of chemotherapy, several cryotherapy, and several lasers until we were told he has a flat scar. We now go for EUA’s every six months.
As he was still receiving the treatment, he contracted tuberculosis and took anti TB for 6 months. When he was on chemotherapy and anti TB, he was also diagnosed with meningitis which was successfully treated.
I wish to thank all the doctors who have been taking care of Richie as I see them as heaven sent angels. My great thanks goes to Dr.Kimani and Dr.Njambi, Ward 1C nurses doctors from Mpeketoni eg Dr.Kinuthia and Dr. Festus, my boss for the support not forgetting my husband and the father of my kids for his great support: physically, mentally and emotionally.
Through this journey I have learnt several lessons:
- We serve a living God who hears our prayers for what he has done to us.
- Never ignore anything you see from your child.
- Prolonged illness does not mean death.
- Cancer is not a death sentence.
Currently Richie is doing well though we are struggling to raise his immune system. Thank God for everything.
Know the Glow is beyond honored to share the story of this brave little boy and his amazing parents. We will look forward to sharing an update on how he is thriving soon!