• Makokha is now appealing for financial help to seek specialised treatment. She has resorted to taking painkillers to ease her suffering.
• She appealed to well-wishers to come to her rescue. She says she has not given up on finding a medical solution to her condition. She is the sole breadwinner for her family.
When Beatrice Makokha felt a mild pain on the right side of her head, she brushed it off as a mere headache.
That was 21 years ago. Today, the pain has morphed into a serious growth that has covered virtually her face.
Her breathing has been severely hampered.
Makokha says the niggling pain began back in January 2000. What was a mild pain just above the eye has since worsened and covered even the nostril.
The pain grew with each passing day.
“It felt like my eye was being stabbed with a knife and I just couldn’t stop rubbing it. The rubbing would slowly get intense and vigorous until my eye turned red," Makokha told the Star during an interview at her home in Stabicha in Kimilili, Bungoma county.
When the swelling persisted, she decided to go to Kitale Referral Hospital. Doctors found no problem with the eye and only advised that she take painkillers.
"The scan showed that nothing was wrong with my eye and head, so the doctors prescribed painkillers for the perceived migraine,” she said.
The swelling defied the painkillers. Makokha's face swelled even more. The headache became unbearable forcing her to seek a second check-up.
“I went back to Kitale Referral Hospital and was referred to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret for further medication,” she said.
Makokha did not go to MTRH. She cited lack of money.
Instead, she went to a private hospital in Kimilili where she was admitted for eight months.
“I was diagnosed with a rare growth. I stayed in the hospital for eight months but there was no improvement so I was told to go home.”
Before this misfortune, Makokha says she had given birth to 14 children. Eight have since died.
"Right now, the swelling has grown so huge that I can't breathe with ease. It has covered my right nostril," she says.
“I have difficulties in breathing. I can only breathe through one nostril. At night, I sleep on the right side because on the left side of the swelling makes breathing worse.”
Makokha is now appealing for financial help to seek specialised treatment. She has resorted to taking painkillers to ease her suffering.
She appealed to well-wishers to come to her rescue. She says she has not given up on finding a medical solution to her condition. She is the sole breadwinner for her family.
Beatrice is a paragon of stoicism. She has withstood pain with unflinching courage for years.
The slight fleeting pain that has morphed into a grotesque malignant lump and which has stolen her beauty started 20 years ago. She was then 30. Young, energetic and full of hope. She dreamt of a prosperous future.
But with each passing day, each passing week, each passing month and each passing year, the swelling the size of a pimple would not go away.
Twenty years of silent agony and endless prayer would have in many people bred complacency. A feeling that it is the hand of fate.
But Beatrice has never given up. She believes that someone out there can put an end to her pain. Someone out here can get the tumour out of her face.
Someone out there can give her a smile back. You can reach out and help through Namalwa Jenty on 0705331763.
The family needs sh500,000 for surgery.
Edited by P.O