Ochecho Vicent is a 10 year old child from Katanabirwa in Kyankwanzi District and was first seen by Hospice Africa Uganda team from Hoima Regional Refferal Hospital (HRRH) with a working diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma. O V is the last born in a family of 8 children. His father deserted the family 2 years ago and married another woman leaving them in a dire condition since he was the bread winner. The mother now makes and sells mukomboti, a local potent gin while his other siblings do odd jobs for survival.
Despite the above challenges, all was well for O V until in April 2016 when sickness struck. It all started as a toothache which the mother responded very well by taking him to the clinic where the tooth was extracted. Unfortunately for OV, the extraction and the aftercare was not done well causing infections of the wound, severe pain and a mass developing on the cheek.
The family took OV to different health centers in search of the right treatment and care but this did not yield any positive results; his condition continued to deteriorate and the family became very worried yet didn’t know what was happening. They then brought him to Hoima Regional Referral Hospital where a biopsy was taken and sent to the multisystem laboratory in Kampala where the results revealed that OV had burkitt lymphoma.
OV was immediately referred to the Uganda Cancer Institute about 200 kms away for chemotherapy but the family could not afford to meet the costs of transport and upkeep in Kampala so were opting to simply return the boy home to wait for any eventuality. But while OV was still at admitted at RRHH, the
clinical team from HAU saw him and immediately enrolled him in the care program. The team started to manage his pain with opioids and helped to control the symptoms. HAU also financed his travel together with the mother to the cancer institute in Kampala for chemotherapy and also catered for the costs of upkeep.
After 4 months of treatment, OV became well again. His well-being has since improved and the pain has completely gone. He has even been withdrawn off the analgesia.The mass on the cheek has also completely gone.
The family is very happy with OV’s recovery and the fact that he has survived the deadly disease. “Am so happy that my child is still alive. Thank you so much. I know he will now live and continue with his education” said the mother, after OV completed the chemo treatment in August.
OV was out of school since April 2016 because of the sickness and the routine journeys he had to make to Uganda Cancer Institute for chemotherapy but was able to resume his studies at the beginning of September. He will continue to be monitored and supported by Hospice to full recovery.