By Caroline Rwenji

Nothing could have prepared Andrew Macharia,31, for the drastic change his life has now taken.

One minute he was a successful Kenyan working and earning a living and the next minute he is like an invalid in an almost vegetative state.

And now his family in Nairobi is grappling with the stress of raising Sh5 million to clear a hospital bill incurred while treating Andrew’s debilitating condition.

They have already paid Sh6 million in hospital bills since Andrew got unwell and the figure is rising by the day.

It all started when Andrew, a civil engineer who was working with a Chinese company, started developing headaches and blurred vision last year.

A hospital visit required him to have a head scan which revealed what would change his life — he had a brain tumour in a very delicate part of the brain, the pituitary gland, which controls hormonal and endocrinal functions.

The pituitary gland is also known as hypophysis and it’s the size of a pea and weighs about 0.5 grams.

Soon, he was in and out of theatre undergoing delicate neurosurgery. As of today, Andrew, who is hospitalised at MP Shah Hospital, has undergone six brain surgeries to try and remove the tumour and redirect brain fluid that has built up in his brain.

According to his doctor and neurosurgeon Dr Kiboi Githinji, the condition is congenital and affects mainly children.

“The tumour, a cranialphargioma, grows in the most precarious part of the brain. It affects the optic nerve and major arteries of the brain,” the doctor told The Standard.

“The patient can become obese, have diabetes, problems with the thyroid gland, men can have enlarged breasts that secrete milk, lethargy, loss of sexual functions or infertility. When it causes pressure on the area, it increases fluid in the brain,” the doctor explains.

So far, his ailing father Mr Wilson Ndung’u says, the family has managed to pay Sh6 million in hospital bills.

His three working children have had to give up all their savings and the last born, Solomon Kibethi, has had to drop out of campus and now takes care of his older brother in hospital.

Well wishers can send their donations to Wilson Ndung’u Mbuthia. Account number 01109171891400, Co-operative Bank, University Way Branch or M-Pesa ­— 0724942559.