How Nasabu and HOREMI beat the tumour

Nasabu knows from painful expe­ri­ence how it feels to be stared at. A huge tumor was engulfing her head and neck. No doctor helped her. Until HOREMI took care of the medical and human emer­gency.

The growth was merci­lessly getting larger. Spreading around her head, neck and ear until it grad­u­ally changed the entire struc­ture of her head. A defor­mity that not only burdened 12-year-old Nasabu psycho­log­i­cally, but also increas­ingly caused her phys­ical pain. And worst of all, no one knew whether the tumour might be life-threat­ening. Not her father, who strug­gled along with her seri­ously ill mother far away as a farmer. And not her aunt, with whom Nasabu lived because of it. Initial visits to health facil­i­ties also brought neither clarity nor help. So the aunt decided to take Nasabu back to her father in the hope that he would find a way out.

The father and daughter went to many more doctors and clinics. Without success. They even spent three expen­sive months in the Mulago National Referral Hospital — the father sold what little they had in exchange. And yet in the end they had to return home without any improve­ment or prospect of recovery.

Renewed hope thanks to HOREMI

That’s when the father started looking for help else­where. At the begin­ning of 2022, he heard about HOREMI, trav­elled over 80 kilo­me­tres to get there — and found open ears and arms with Kenneth and Naume. They alerted the circle of friends to the plight of the girl. In surgeon Davide Naggi, CEO at the CORSU hospital, they finally found someone who was willing and compe­tent to take on Nasabu’s problem. And at last there was a diag­nosis: the growth was a “benign” lymphan­gioma, a rare tumour of the lymphatic vessels. But while not life-threat­ening it was already severely impacting the quality of life not to mention its fore­see­able impact in the future.

Nasabu directly after a surgery – in the end it will be three oper­a­tions.

The doctors planned the neces­sary plastic surgery oper­a­tions and calcu­lated the costs. Because Nasabu’s rela­tives would never be able to raise the money it was agreed to be financed by the friends of HOREMI.  However, many more months of nervous waiting would pass before the treat­ment could finally begin. First, the oper­ating theatres at CORSU were reno­vated, then due to Nasabu’s health prob­lems the oper­a­tion had to be delayed.

Three operations and a lot of patience

In August 2022, Dr Naggi was finally able to begin the surgical process. In the first phase, the struc­ture of the head was restored. Next the large growth on the ear was removed and in a third oper­a­tion the remaining tumor on the neck was taken away. It took long phases of healing in between as well as lots of medica­tion, good wound care and regular check-ups. With the several stays in the hospital and the many trips there, the costs added up to nearly 3,000 dollars  — not a large fortune by German stan­dards, but in Uganda (annual income under 1,000 dollars) very much so.

The result was more than worth it. Since the last wounds healed in July 2023, Nasabu is noticed only because she is so pretty. Finally, she can live her life, go to school, and later do an appren­tice­ship. Her aunt was imme­di­ately willing to take the now 13-year-old back to live with her family. All the best Nasabu!

The long road to recovery has been worth it. Nasabu can finally live a normal life.

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