Beatrice Makokha, 68, had lived with the growth for 21 years. She hails from Stabicha in Kimilili, Bungoma County. The growth covered most of the right side of her face including the eye, frontal bone, ethmoid and frontal sinus.
The team of medics comprised of Dr. Francis Thuku, a maxillofacial Surgeon, Dr. Geoffrey Wasike, neurosurgeon, Dr. Wabwile Machimoto, ophthalmologist, Dr. Elisha Kirwa and Dr. Werunga Kituyi (anesthesiologists) and Edward Avula, scrub nurse.
“Beatrice is doing well and she is upbeat,” hospital CEO, Dr Wilson Aruasa, said. “I have talked to her and she is so grateful to the hospital and all the support she has received.”
The growth started as a mild pain on the right side of her head. She dismissed it as a headache and took some pain killers. With time, however, the pain worsened and degenerated into the growth.
“It felt like my eye was being stabbed with a knife and I just couldn’t stop rubbing it,” she told a local newspaper earlier this month. “The rubbing would slowly get intense and vigorous until my eye turned red.”
In spite of initial treatment at Kitale Referral Hospital and later MTRH, the cyst kept growing. It impaired her breathing. “I was diagnosed with a rare growth. I stayed in the hospital for eight months but there was no improvement so I was told to go home,” the mother of 14 (eight of whom are dead), told ‘The Star’. “I have difficulties in breathing. I can only breathe through one nostril. At night, I sleep on the right side because on the left side of the swelling makes breathing worse.”
A public call for support to assist her get surgery and resume a normal life pre-empted the successful surgery. Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko donated KSh300,000. He had also offered two return air tickets, was the surgery to be conducted outside the country.
MRTH said it conducted the procedure at a cost of KSh 550,000. “MTRH will treat Beatrice as a Corporate Social Responsibility client under the Universal Health Coverage,” said the hospital in a statement.
“MTRH will keep treating her until she heals and will be discharged home perhaps after a week or upon satisfactory Hospital recuperation,” Dr Aruasa added.