For a woman joy is being a mother to a healthy son/daughter. But what if you are told that your child has sickle cell genes at six months what would you do? I am a mother of three children; two boys and a girl were both boys are sicklers. When my first born was diagnosed with sickle cell disease, I was perplexed. I had never heard anybody or even interacted with somebody who had sickle cells. I could not believe it but eventually it had to sink into my mind with time.
In our family we grew up with no person of such a blood disorder. But in life there are two answers. It’s either yes or no and I had to believe it because he was my son. I could not live in denial, the only solution was to look for ways he could live because there were so many myths and beliefs about the disease. I attended regular checkups with my son in the hospitals and got medical advice from doctors, and counselling. And from friends and family on how manage him.
I learnt that never go to the hospital only when you are sick, I embarked on seeing that my son lives a happy life just as the rest of the children. I had to become the first aider in home whenever he was in crisis, he had to begin daily dosage of folic acid, taking monthly anti-malaria to prevent malaria because it was the greatest weakness to the body.
My prayer as my sons grow up was that they learn to say what hurts them and to take care of themselves. Unfortunately the elder one got a stroke in 2009 that left him speechless for ten days. That was a trying moment for everyone in the family- but through that moment I learnt something else that they are vulnerable to such attacks.
Now they both know how to take care of themselves because one of them has studied from a boarding school from primary through secondary and now at university. The other is in senior three and have come out tell the world what they are, they believe that they can speak for the voiceless out there.
I also encourage mothers never be worried if our children have sickle cell, other parents also have health dilemmas for their children too. Just be strong they have plenty of years to live and be successful and beneficial citizens. In case of any challenges don’t hesitate to contact me, we can fight this challenge to the end. Credits go out to those who have to sensitize the community about everything on disease.
Edith Kibira 0772502894