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The strange disease that almost killed Sakuda

Meanwhile, the leg grew to be three times its original size. To make matters worse, he hit his other leg as he was getting into his car, which also got swollen. For a whole month Sakuda was unable to walk and was confined to a wheelchair.

As Moses Sakuda was receiving treatment at the Nairobi Hospital, for a yet to be identified ailment, he was certain he was living his last days on earth.

“I had lost so much weight in such a short period of time and the pain I was experiencing was too much,” he told Kajiado Star at his home in Kimuka on Saturday.

“I called my wife and asked her to put a few things in order as I was sure God was calling me to be with Him.”

The doctors at the hospital had conducted a number of tests on him but none seemed to pinpoint what exactly he was suffering from. “I told them that I would not leave the hospital until they identified what was wrong with my body,” adds Sakuda, the former Kajiado West MP.

He traces his tribulations to the festive period of 2020. “We were relaxing here at home, with my brothers who had come over for the festivities, from their base in the US, when I experienced sudden pain on my right leg,” explains Sakuda.

His doctor was on holiday, when Sakuda called him, but he told him whom to contact at the Nairobi Hospital so that tests could be done on him.

After X-rays and ultrasound scan, it was discovered that a cyst had burst in his knee and that the fluids were dripping down his leg, hence the pain. The bursting of that cyst was attributed to an injury he got in his younger days when he was a goalkeeper.  Meanwhile, the leg grew to be three times its original size. To make matters worse, he hit his other leg as he was getting into his car, which also got swollen. For a whole month Sakuda was unable to walk and was confined to a wheelchair.

Surgery was done on his right leg, which drew almost a litre of pus.

If he thought that the surgery would bring an end to his medical problems, Sakuda was in for more shock. “I started losing weight at an alarming rate, which got my doctors worried,” he recalls. At some point, the normally burly Sakuda was weighing at just 85 kilos!

It is at this point that the former MP told doctors that he would not leave his hospital bed until they got to the root cause of his problem. In the meantime, he had been subjected to so many tests he says he started understanding some medical terminology especially the science that relates with blood.

“By this time platelets – the ones that induce blood clotting to prevent excessive bleeding – were ranging at between 130 to 150, with the ideal being 180,” he explains. “On the other hand, my blood count had dropped from a high of 18 to eight!”

After all the major tests had been done on him, it was suggested that his bone marrow be examined. This involved drilling a hole in his backbone to extract some bone marrow. “This was the most painful medical operation I have had to endure my whole life,” says Sakuda with an obvious shudder at the recollection.

After two weeks, the bone marrow sample tested positive for arthritis and a new round of medication kicked off for him. Meanwhile, the bills were piling up.

“Luckily for me, as the vice chair of Ewuaso Nyiro Development Authority, I had medical cover, but it got exhausted,” he recalls.

Tomorrow: How Sakuda’s condition drove Uhuru Kenyatta to tears.

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