Now that she was out of the 1st stage, the next step was going for an operation. They were given a number of options such as having it done at Mulago hospital’s private wing, at Kadic for 2.2 m or at CURE Hospital in Mbale. The last option which was given to them by a friend of Esther’s dad was what they settled for.
Esther left Mulago on Friday and on Monday she was on her way to Mbale in the company of her mum, dad and his wife’s sister-in-law. Whenever they hit a pot hole, Esther cried out in pain but they had thought of carrying a blanket for her support and a shock absorber seeing that the head was now 3 times the normal size. She was very uncomfortable for she could not turn her head nor could the neck support the head. Since the head was of an abnormal size and heavy, the ladies in the car had to take turns carrying her. It was such a long grueling journey for all of them.
On reaching Mbale, they needed to secure an appointment and this was easy since Sam worked in Mbale so he asked friends to help him with that. It was also not difficult to get a date for the operation since the excess fluids had already been dealt with. Dealing with the fluid before travelling to Mbale was also good for Esther as she did not have to endure the pain that the pressure from the fluids caused. However, the financial side had really been dented by those days in Mulago. But weighing the 2 issues, Mr. Mayanja says that the former outweighs the latter because it was all for the good of his baby.
In as much as some may call it small, it shook them when they were told that as a rule, the parents’ blood had to be tested before the baby was operated on. This they discovered was a precautionary measure by the hospital in case a hiccup occurred during or after the operation. It would put the guess work out of the picture in case the parents have HIV, sickle cells or any other related condition. The pressure was on since they had to wait over a day to get their results.
Although they were already financially constrained, the expenses were still coming in form of accommodation, feeding and the like. Esther and one care taker were receiving meals and accommodation courtesy of the hospital so Mr. Mayanja had to cater for his wife’s sister-in-law in those areas. Lucky for him, there was a guest house nearby so he booked her in and he was sure that she was safe to go in and out the hospital. Then he looked for a place for himself as well.
The charge incurred was 1.5 million and this was a one off charge for it also catered for the patient after the operation in areas such as follow up, failed operation and the like. Sam says that compared to what they had to be given, the charge was little. However, their financial situation was saying otherwise since one problem led to the next and all needed money.
The operation was for Tuesday. The hospital applied 2 methods during such operations; use of a shunt and ETV with ETV being their preferred method. This is because the hole drilled for fluid passage grows as the child grows. However, it has a set back of the child not responding to the operation. Esther had the ETV method used during the operation was monitored for 3 days to see how she responds and if any complications arise.
As soon as the operation was done, Mr. Mayanja and his wife’s sister-in-law returned to Kampala for they were not needed anymore. Sam would later come back to pick Esther and his wife.