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Lawrence Kuyenda

Malawi Unknown meningitis and septicaemia (sepsis) type Toddler 1-3 Recovery with After Effects
Lawrence Kuyenda

Lucy Adams (29) from Kameza near Chileka, Blantyre, Malawi tells us how her son Lawrence became sick in June. 

My son Lawrence became sick on 11th January when he was one year ten months old. He was sleeping in his grandmother’s house in Zomba when part of the house fell down and hit him on the head during the night due to the heavy rains. He was taken to Zomba central hospital where he was admitted for two weeks. 

On their way to the hospital Lawrence was vomiting blood and some was coming from his nose. He was put on oxygen for some days because he was having problems in breathing, and when he started recovering I noticed that he could not turn his head and when he wanted to look at a thing he would turn his whole body. The doctors said Lawrence would be fine but one week after he was discharged he had malaria and he was back in the hospital. 

Then on 22nd June Lawrence became ill again and had flu, fever and was also coughing so after 2 days I walked to South Lunzu health facility. At the clinic they thought it was malaria so they did a malaria test and the results were negative, but because of the condition of Lawrence, he was so weak, he was having difficulties in breathing and his temperature was high they referred him to QECH.

"I am hoping Lawrence is going to be ok and his future is going to be good but I am scared of what after effects that he may have because of what I have heard about the after effects of the disease and knew two children who died from meningitis."

We got to the hospital by public transport and I had to borrow money from a neighbour because me and my husband did not have any money that we could use for transport, we could not wait for the ambulance because it might not come at all or take too long to get to clinic. 

At the hospital they moved Lawrence to the front of the queue, after being weighed he was taken into the emergency room where he was put on oxygen, the doctors did not know what was wrong with him so they did a lumber puncture and took some blood samples on him to find what was wrong with him. They think it could be meningitis since the results are not yet out and we have been in hospital for five days which has been difficult as I have another child.

My other son is 4 ½ and is being looked after by his father whilst we are here but he works a security guard at mount Soche hotel so when he is on night duty he has to leave the child with my brother who lives nearby.

I am hoping Lawrence is going to be ok and his future is going to be good but I am scared of what after effects that he may have because of what I have heard about the after effects of the disease and knew two children who died from meningitis. 

I think I would be able to spot the disease now that Lawrence has had it and have told my family members what to look out for and to get medical help immediately. 

Lucy Adams
October 2015

Footnote: Our Aspire research nurse Harriet has since discovered that Lawrence has now developed hydrocephalus as a result of contracting meningitis. This has been caused by a build-up of fluid inside the skull, which can increase pressure and cause damage to the brain if not treated correctly.

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