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WELL DONE: How skilled Kenyan doctors removed 3kg growth on elderly woman’s face

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A team of doctors at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital have successfully removed a big cystic growth that, for over two decades, has been  blocking  an elderly woman’s face, including her nose, and interfered with her breathing.

Beatrice Makhoka from Bungoma has lived with a 3kg facial growth for 21 years and is now set to resume her normal life.

According to those who know her, she has lived with the heavy growth for 21 years and was almost giving up her struggle to live.

The medics removed the growth during a day-long surgery at the Eldoret-based hospital, where she is now recuperating in the Neuroward.

This was after The Star newspaper, a Kenyan daily, led a fundraising campaign which raised over Sh 1m which will go towards her treated and post treatment expenses.

“We thank all Kenyans who responded to our call to put a smile on Makokha’s life. She is on her way to recovery,” said Radio Africa’s Head of Content Paul Ilado yesterday. Radio Africa is the mother company to The Star.

“Beatrice underwent the surgery which was successful. She is doing well and she is upbeat. I have talked to her and she is so grateful to the hospital and all the support she has received,” the hospital CEO, Dr Wilson Aruasa, said.

He said Beatrice will remain under observation but all indications were that she was doing “quite well.”

“However MTRH is treating Beatrice as our corporate social responsibility (CSR)”, Dr Aruasa said.

Beatrice, 68,  was referred from Bungoma County Hospital to MTRH on April 8.

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“She came with a history of progressive right facial swelling over many years. She had been attended to several times in various health facilities,” Aruasa said.

Her condition required a multi-specialisation hence the referral.

“We removed a huge cystic growth on the right side of the face. The mass had 3 litres of dermoid fluid. The face successfully closed with dura patch and cranium mesh,”Aruasa said.

The team of medics comprised of MTRH lead surgeon Dr Francis Thuku, who is Maxillofacial surgeon, Dr Geoffrey Wasike (neurosurgeon), Dr Wabwile Machimoto (ophthalmologist) Dr Elisha  Kirwa (anaesthesiologists) and Dr Werunga Kituyi and Edward Avula (scrub nurse)

“We will keep treating her until she heals well to be discharged perhaps after a week of hospital recuperation,” the CEO said.

Her breathing was laboured as the tumour covered one nostril but Dr Aruasa said following the surgery, she will be able to breathe normally.

“I can only breathe through one nostril. At night, I sleep on the right side because the left side of the swelling makes breathing worse,” Beatrice had said.

“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,” she told The Star in a recent interview.

The patient disclosed that her  face began to swell in January 2000 accompanied by a sharp pain that would not go away.

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