Doctors wanted to amputate my legs, but family prayers saved me
Emmanuel Dishon tells The Nairobian how his legs were nearly amputated but prayers worked magic
You were not born with this illness…
Yes. I was born with healthy legs. I am first born in a family of three boys and a girl. Coming from a humble background in Kighambo village in Mwatate, I didn’t ever think that illness could also bring pain like poverty, which was already hitting us so hard.
So what happened to your legs?
It was in October 2011 when blisters started swelling on the upper side of my legs. I thought it was the normal sores that come with putting on shoes for a long time but this condition persisted and the number of blisters increased every morning. It was a mystery and I didn’t understand what was happening.
Did you seek medical attention?
Of course, yes. My parents rushed me to the Mwatate Hospital for check up and also to get medication. By this time, nothing much was being said by the medics and they thought I had mashilingi (ringworms) until it became more persistent in the second month and they had to treat me with tetanus vaccine.
How was your life like during that period?
It was extremely tough. I was in my final year of primary education and the disease disrupted my studies. I remember I couldn’t even take a shower by myself or even visit the washroom. My mother had to step in for me and help me do all that. I couldn’t even play or even attend any social gathering because of the pus that came from my legs.
Were your siblings supportive?
Yes, though it would break them down most of the time since I couldn’t go to school with them at Kighambo Primary School. I would spend sleepless nights crying because of the pain.
Did you maintain your circle of friends?
Majority ran away because they didn’t want to be associated with me and my mysterious sickness. I remember some of my close friends and neighbours were asked not to come home because they could also contact the disease.
What was your turning point?
When the doctors told me that the only solution at the time was to ampute the legs to stop the blisters from spreading towards the knees. I was heart-broken. I wasn’t ready to use a wheelchair. So, my parents called for family prayers and six months later, I was healed.
Has the mystery disease recurred since then?
Yes. In 2018, I had the same symptoms on my legs. This time round it wasn’t as severe as the first one. I went for medication and three months later, I was healed.
What have you learnt so far?
First, nothing is impossible whenever you have hope and believe in it. You will conquer the challenges you face if your hope is high. Secondly, there are people with bigger challenges than what you are facing, it’s just that you haven’t been given those challenges so keep your hope up.