Vincent Okemwa clutches at his bloodied handkerchief. He coughs and his whole body shakes uncontrollably. At 20 years Okemwa only weighs 34kgs.
Visits to various hospitals and clinics proved futile to him. He was first misdiagnosed with Tuberculosis and put on a regimen but he kept coughing blood and losing weight.
College dreams had to be put on hold, he couldn’t do the simplest of tasks, always fatigued and breathless. A visit to the national hospital brought great relief when he eventually consulted a cardiologist and got a proper diagnosis. The valves in his heart were severely damaged and he needed urgent open-heart surgery to replace the damaged valves with mechanical ones.