Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana has opened up on his recent health scare and a surgery he had to undergo and the complications doctors faced while removing a mass from his neck.
Taking to Facebook the county boss explained that it all began as slight pain in the chest, kidney region, arm and legs and over time he had numbness in the right side of his body, forcing him to seek medical attention.
A series of tests were conducted in Nairobi, Makueni and South Africa before doctors recommended that the county boss undergoes surgery to remove the mass that was found on his neck.
“I began to experience persistent headaches and generalized malaise. Scaling the stairs to my office became strenuous. I discussed these symptoms with my spouse and doctor brother. Finally, I was prevailed upon to seek medical attention. We approached the most senior physician in Makueni County Referral Hospital,” the governor wrote.
“On the second visit, Dr Somba dropped the bombshell. He revealed that I had a growth at the tail of my neck and the beginning of the chest. In technical language, the growth was between the 7th vertebra of the neck and the 1st of the chest (C7-T1).”
The governor shared that he was shaken with the immediate concern being whether the mass was cancerous.
“At this stage, I requested that my spouse Nazi and all actors previously involved holding a consultative meeting. During this subsequent conference in Dr. Somba’s office, a consensus was built that the growth had to be removed through surgery. If allowed to grow, it could with time burst and cause internal bleeding with dire consequences, such as a stroke or paralysis due to the depressed spinal cord. We agreed the operation could be done in Kenya or abroad. I was advised the operation would be delicate because to reach the growth, part of the vertebra would have to be “excised”,” he added.
“On the 15th at about 3 p.m., I was wheeled to theatre. My family had been with me the whole day. I remember the anaesthetist Dr Esther N. Munyoro promising she would send me to sleep and wake me up. Before long, I was gone. Later I learned that upon opening my upper back, the neuro-surgeon found the growth presented more complex than anticipated. The ball of blood vessels needed more time to untangle. An operation for three to four hours extended to six and a half hours. The doctor, however, was satisfied that he had done a “clean” job.”
“Through my medical insurance and NHIF, I was able to access first class medical services. Had I gone abroad, the cost would probably have been five or more times higher. As one of our country’s leaders, I believe that ultimately we should share with our citizenry details of our medical conditions. After histology, the growth was found to be a non-cancerous spinal haemangioblastoma, and not the initially suspected meningioma or ArterioVenous Malformation (AVM). I thank my God,” he stated.