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Brain tumor in dire need of help

by Memory Tjimbundu



Parents of three-year old Uzuvirua Collin (Junior) Tjihero are struggling with the fact that their son has life-threatening brain tumors.

Doctors have told Katrina Nakanduungile Witbooi, 24, and Collin Tjihero that their son’s illness is incurable.

To make matters worse, Collin a teacher in the Oshana region, has to look after the boy since Katrina works in Ohangwena region.

The heartbroken mother says she loves her son and would do anything to be with him but her job does not allow.

“I visit my son from time to time and take him for check-ups. I also help where I can even as live with him full time,” she said.

Collin says he has to do everything for Uzuvirua, “My boy stays with me. I nurse him whenever he feels ill. But he has to stay with my relatives at home while I am at work. His mother also helps whenever she's around," says Collin.

He expressed his shock when he was told that his son had brain tumors, “He was born healthy but seven months later, he grew weaker and became blind.” At first, doctors disagreed on what ailed him. One of them suspected that it might have been an optical oppression which results in blindness.

“Most of the doctors were initially afraid to operate him because they did not know if he was born with a brain tumor or not. One year later, a certain doctor advised us to take him for brain scanning.”

On 17 June 2010, Uzuvirua's family took him to a radiologist at the Medi-Park Imaging in Ongwediva for brain scanning and it was confirmed that the boy had a tumor.

Collin says at first, the tumor grew bigger and the boy became anemic because of the weight of the head.

“Today, he has a hole in his head where a pipe is used to siphon fluid from his brain after every two weeks. Even though the operation is too expensive, the draining of the fluid from the brain reduces the weight of the head,” he said.

A certain Dr. S.T. Gura from Ongwediva Medi-Park, who treated Uzuvirua, explains that different populations of ganglion cells in the retina should freely send information to the brain through the optic nerve which causes people to see and if one of the two is affected, the outcome is blindness. 

“In the case of Uzuvirua a small lobe (504cm), mainly cystic mass, is noted arising from the suprasella cistern and there is minimal enhancement of the solid wall on the right. The mass is extending superiorly to compress the third and lateral ventricles which cause blindness,” says Dr Gura.  

Tjihero is asking for assistance to raise an amount of N$174 396 needed to send his son for a cerebral tumor surgery at Medi-Clinic. Those who wish to contribute can deposit the money in the child’s Account number: C. U. Tjihero, 622498939, FNB (Ondangwa Branch) or call Collin Tjihero on 0813990189.