By Chris Kiwawulo
Vincent Oketch, the boy whose legs got swollen after he was hit by a strange disease has succumbed to heart failure and blockages just before surgeons and experts could operate on him.
Sunday Vision uncovered Oketch’s plight in March last year after the boy’s parents had given up on him because his legs were swelling every other day.
Oketch had just started trying out walking at one-and-a-half years old when the strange disease hit him.
Following the Sunday Vision story, UK medics offered to operate on the 10-year-old and part of the team had already flown in and had started treating him, said Dr. Isaac Osire, who discovered Oketch through his Tororo-based organisation — Empowerment of Disadvantaged Youth and Children (ADYEC).
According to Osire, Oketch’s tissues were storing a lot of fats and were to be drained before they could fly him out for the operation.
“An expert was expected to come in the second week of January to drain his tissues. We were in the process of getting travel documents for him when he died on the morning of December 26,” said Osire.
It was Osire who helped to transfer Oketch from Tororo to the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services in Uganda (CORSU) hospital along Entebbe Road from where the boy received preliminary treatment.
A scan done at Besta diagnostic centre in Kampala showed that Oketch had elephantiasis of the bilateral lower limbs and buttocks due to obstruction of the lymphatic system above the level of the sacrum, but the bilateral scrota are spared.
The scan report signed by Dr. James Senoga, a consultant radiologist, revealed that a large amount of effusion was seen in the left suprapetallar space and the left knee joint.
Mild deformation was also noted in the bilateral lower limbs as well as a cyst in the membraneous urethra.
The doctor recommended a further clinical investigation and an MR (Magnetic Resonance) examination.