The Sunday Mail
Any hospital confinement immediately triggers loneliness.
Most patients miss the outside world and even the little things they may have left at home.
While some miss their families, relatives, friends, work, school and even pets, Trymore Mukan’an’a has a rare craving.
He wishes to lay his hands on a juicy mango fruit.
Trymore (13) successfully underwent a leg amputation a fortnight ago at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.
The part of the leg that was removed was cancerous.
“I miss mangoes the most. The doctors have been treating me well in here, but the first thing I need to do when I go back home is to get some mangoes,” he said in a low tone that almost dropped into a whisper, a visible sign that the boy is still in pain.
Trymore was speaking from his hospital bed.
There were indications that the boy was ready for discharge after developing a cancerous tumour in May last year.
Since the tumour started growing, Trymore went for almost a year without treatment as his grandmother, Gogo Margaret Muteve, could not afford to pay the required medical fees.
Trymore lives with Gogo Muteve in Buhera. She had no idea that Trymore had cancer.
While she was hoping that her grandson would recover, his condition kept deteriorating.
Eventually, the sixth grader had to drop out of Murambinda A Primary School as he could no longer walk, stand or sit properly.
As the tumour grew bigger, the boy became frail.
He would constantly cry due to the excruciating pain he was experiencing.
Trymore’s condition came to light after Buhera West legislator Soul Nzuma filmed the boy and circulated the video on social media as a way of seeking public assistance.
Fortunately, the First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa got wind of the boy’s plight and immediately facilitated his transportation to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals through the Angel of Hope Foundation.
Speaking after the boy was admitted at the medical institution in December, the First Lady, who is also the Ministry of Health and Child Care Ambassador, said she was touched when she saw Trymore’s video.
“I was out of the country in China on business when I saw the video. This child was pleading for assistance,” she said then.
“I then spoke to Dr (Bernard) Madzima, who was part of my delegation representing the Ministry of Health and Child Care, and showed him the video.
“I then requested, through him, that the child be taken to the hospital for medical attention. That is how he was brought here.”
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) also came on board and pledged to pay Trymore’s medical bills.
However, by the time of admission, the damage caused by the tumour on Trymore’s leg was extensive.
Medical experts recommended an amputation. In a show of spirited determination as he fights for his health, Trymore is unfazed after losing one of his limbs.
His simple wish is to go back home to his life.
“I was in pain before the surgery, but now I’m feeling much better,” he said.
“I hope to recover fully so that I can go back to school and play with my friends again.”
Gogo Muteve noted the tremendous improvement in Trymore’s health. He can now sit without support.
“I couldn’t imagine that Trymore could recover like this,” she said.
“I am very happy. I thank Amai Mnangagwa and ZCDC for their help, I do not know what would have happened if they had not come forward.
“It is almost a year since Trymore last went to school. I really want him to recover fully so that he can join the other children and continue with his educ- ation.”
Gogo Muteve described how the illness started.
“Trymore was playing with the other children. When he returned home, he said his leg had dislocated,” she said.
“The following day I took him to Murambinda Hospital as his leg was now swollen. They conducted X-rays but did not see anything wrong,” she said.
Trymore was referred to Mutare General Hospital, where he was admitted for a week.
Medical personnel said X-rays did not show any fracture.
As a result, the boy was referred to Parirenyatwa Hospital, where an MRI scan and a chest X-ray were prescribed.
The hospital quoted $8 800 for the scan and $4 600 for the X-ray.
Unfortunately, Gogo Muteve could not afford to pay for the scan and X-ray.
She had no option but to return to Buhera with the boy and watch him writhe in pain.
That was when Honourable Nzuma made the home video.
Dr Akimu Mageza, who performed the surgery on Trymore, said although the boy was getting better, there is need for further treatment.
“The surgery was very successful and his condition is very stable at the moment, so we are discharging him today (last Friday),” said Dr Mageza.
“However, there is still need for treatment as the cancer had spread to his lungs. He will need chemotherapy.”
ZCDC public relations and corporate affairs executive Mr Sugar Chagonda said the company was paying for Trymore’s treatment as part of its corporate social responsibility.
“When we got wind of the boy’s plight, we quickly went to assess the situation, at the invitation of the local MP,” Mr Chagonda said.
“After the visit, we felt that we had a role to play. We had to assist with the boy’s treatment.
“We swiftly made the necessary arrangements.”