We find Shadrack Rammah sitting outside their mud-walled house, in deep pain at Buyende village in Funyula Constituency.
Next to him stands his disturbed father Julius Onyango with a cup of porridge in his hand, which has been his son’s regular meal over the last week following a doctor’s advice.
During this period, the 15-year-old has not had a taste of solid food nor can he recall the last time he had calm, uninterrupted sleep.
He is anguished if the looks on his face are anything to go by as he hopes against hope to heal from a rare medical condition.
Rammah suffered from ameloblastoma, a malignant tumor that continues to grow beneath his lower jaw. Though noncancerous, the tumour develops most often in the jaw near the molars.
The class 8 candidate of Rumbiye Primary School narrates that what began as a normal toothache is now threatening to cut short his life if surgery is not conducted soon.
“It began around October last year when I started feeling unusual pain in my teeth and was taken to Busia Level 4 hospital where I was given some painkillers,” he says.
By then, the tumour had not begun growing but after a month, the situation got worse, and the pain became unbearable prompting him to drop out of school.
In a bid to find a solution to the problem, his father Julius Onyango, a caretaker who earns a paltry Sh4,000 a month, took him to a local hospital in Kisumu for a proper examination.
“I realised that with every passing day, the situation got worse, the tumour continued to spread and my son would struggle to eat certain foods. He could not sleep, especially during cold seasons,” Onyango lamented.
A diagnostic report conducted at Advanced Care Dental Centre deduced that the patient was suffering from ameloblastoma and recommended an urgent mandibular reconstruction and surgery for treatment.
On May 24, Dr Odhiambo Bati, warned that the operation, which would cost the family around Sh230,000 had to be done in two-weeks time.