THE STAR 5d
Doctors have asked Beatrice Makokha to wait another one week as they analyse the results of tests carried on her on Sunday.
Beatrice is the 50-year-old woman from Bungoma battling a rapidly growing tumour that has constricted her right nostrils and covered her right eye.
The tests include a CT scan and MRI to reveal the extent of the three-kg mass that has been growing on her face for 20 years.
“Others are blood tests and a chest scan, histology, cytology and biopsy. Within one week we shall be able to decide her on the next steps,” said one doctor at the Bungoma Level 5 Hospital.
Beatrice told the Star she is admitted to the hospital’s private wing and Bungoma county had promised to pay for costs incurred at the facility.
“Nangoja tu. Najiskia mgonjwa tu (I’m only waiting, my body just feels sick,” she said.
The Star newspaper has appealed to Kenyans to help raise funds for her, costs she is expected to incur, even after treatment.
"We urge well-wishers to help Beatrice breathe with ease by making donations towards her medical bill," the Star said in a statement.
You can send your donations to M-Pesa Paybill number 922379, under the account name The Star.
The Star has also made it clear all proceeds will be directed entirely to Beatrice Makokha's medical bills and care.
Her eldest daughter, Namalwa Jenty, said after the scans on Saturday, she received some tablets and an injection.
“After that she slept until today (Monday) 11am. So we are now waiting for the doctors to tell us what to do,” she said.
Beatrice's breathing remains laboured and medics at the Bungoma Level 5 Hospital said she does not have long to live if the tumour is not removed urgently.
She is her family's sole breadwinner.
On Sunday morning, Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati visited Makokha at her home in Stabicha in Kimilili.
He accompanied her to the hospital for the tests, whose costs he promised would be covered by the county.
The tests will determine the specialist treatment and surgery she will require.
"I wish to thank the Star Newspaper for highlighting the story of Mama Beatrice. I have spoken to the management of MTRH Eldoret in readiness for her admission should findings at the County Referral Hospital require so. We've registered her on NHIF to ease the burden of healthcare," the governor said.
The Eldoret-based Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital confirmed it was ready to take up the case and would do the surgery at no cost.
“The hospital has decided if Beatrice is admitted here, her surgery or treatment will be done at no cost to her,” public relations officer Consolate Chepchirchir said.
However, she will accrue other surgery-related and long-term post-operative care costs not covered by the waiver.
Beatrice face began swelling 21 years ago in January 2000 accompanied by a sharp pain that would not go away.
“It felt like my eye was being stabbed with a knife and I just couldn’t stop rubbing it. The rubbing would slowly get intense and vigorous until my eye turned red," she told the Star during an interview.
When the swelling persisted, she went to Kitale Referral Hospital. Doctors found no problem with the eye and advised her to take painkillers.
"The scan showed nothing was wrong with my eye and head, so the doctors prescribed painkillers for the perceived migraine,” she said.
The swelling defied the painkillers. Makokha's face swelled even more. The headache became unbearable forcing her to seek a second check-up.
“I went back to Kitale Referral Hospital and was referred to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret for further medication,” she said.
Makokha did not go to MTRH. She said she didn't have the money.
Instead, she went to a private hospital in Kimilili where she was admitted for eight months.
“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.”
Makokha gave birth to 14 children, eight of them have died.
“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.”
Makokha is appealing for financial help for surgery. She takes painkillers.