Boy tells of six years of misery as he battles cancer

Shadrack Ouma in class at Nasira AC Primary School, Matayos, on June 14, 2019. [Ignatius Odanga]

It started as a small swelling on the mouth of Shadrack Ouma six years ago. His grandmother Mary Mukadi thought it would disappear but it refuses to disappear.

Mukadi resorted to seeking the assistance of herbalists to treat her grandson to no avail. Shadrack’s parents separated three years ago.

The swelling on the mouth of the 16-year-old Standard Six pupil at Nasira AC Primary in Matayos Constituency keeps on growing.

When The Standard visited the school, he was in class attending an English lesson. Despite the brave face Shadrack puts on in class, he is suffering secretly.

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“Sometimes I experience severe headache which goes away once I take some painkillers,” said Shadrack. He rarely goes out to mingle with fellow pupils during break time.

“It has been hard to concentrate in class and at times fellow pupils stare, which makes me shy away,” said Shadrack.

His head teacher Shem Makhanu says the boy is regularly absent because of the condition. 

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“He is a very hardworking boy but of late he has been in and out of class. As teachers, we know his problem so we rarely question him,” said Makhanu.

 Ms Mukadi disclosed that her son, a casual labourer in Nairobi, took Shadrack at the Kenyatta National Hospital for a checkup.

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Medical reports from the head of dentistry at KNH showed Shadrack has a calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumour.

The doctors recommended an urgent surgical procedure which would require a reconstruction of the plate.

The family was unable to raise the amount that was needed for the pupil to get treated, he was therefore discharged.

“I do not know if one day my grandson will be cured so that he can live a normal life,” said Mukadi.

“We have tried everything within our means to no avail but we are hopeful a solution will be found one day,” she added.

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Kenyatta National Hospital