By Esther Namboka

Day 1: Baby Cathy’s story
‘After giving birth, I overheard doctors saying, ‘ The baby has Hydro something.’ Given that I don’t understand English, I didn’t even understand the word or what they meant. What stood out most was the word Hydro which came with a little pain and concern on their faces. I was discharged without being told the condition of my girl.

Hardly had I returned home, than people who had understood my girl’s condition started to warn my husband about keeping such a child and shortly, he chased us saying that in his family, they never give birth to such children.

I stayed in the village where I exposed my girl to witchcraft but the head grew bigger each day. I desperately resorted to anything recommended by people to see my child normal but in vain. No one wanted to stay with my child as I looked for something to eat since she came with a lot of care and attention. Sometimes we would go hungry just to keep by her side.

I was later referred to a Hydrocephalus support group which helped me to go to the Hydrocephalus hospital in Mbale where Cathy had a surgery. But since it was already late, the surgery didn’t help Cathy much. Despite all the hardships that come with having such a child, I am happily taking care of my girl’.

As narrated by Cathy’s mother.

CATHY CHEWS HER LIPS whenever she is Hungry, a common thing since her mother can’t afford to take care of her the way she would have wished. Many times when the mother returns from finding a meal, she finds Cathy’s mouth soaked in blood.

Day 2: I write Timothy’s story with a painful and broken heart!

Tim, 13 years old and his mother were rejected by both her parents and the parents of his father. They didn’t want her to keep this kind of child but she insisted. Currently, Tim and his mother have no home but have been housed in a church in Mpererwe. Their survival is based on the work his mother does for the church like sweeping and providing security to the church.

Sadly, Tim doesn’t move any part of his body. A few months back, rats used to evade him, eat some parts of his body, at night and during the day when his mother would be away. Though he could feel pain, he couldn’t move the part being eaten. Often times, his mother would find him bleeding.

Tim doesn’t produce any sound, be it crying or any slightest sound. He doesn’t swallow on his own or chew anything. He has to be tilted in a certain position to have his food or drink go down his throat. It’s one reason he is so malnourished despite the poor feeding. Allow me end it here, I just can’t go on…

Timothy will be available on Saturday to meet you all, for those who will come with us to deliver Xmas items to the children.

Please join Esther Namboka in this cause as we reach out to children with hydrocephalus and spina bifida! You can reach Esther on her facebook page in the name of Esther Namboka.