Years of suffering ends and life begins again.
Nurse Kenedy Kachingwa, Paediatric nurse at KCH Hospital, Malawi.
"I have worked here for two years. It’s not an easy job we have a lot of children coming to us and very few staff. We are often overwhelmed, and we work double sometimes more than double shifts because there is a shortage of nurses.
I love to come to work every day. This is what I am about, I am about helping people. It makes me feel good to see children who have come to the hospital unwell and leave when they are all better. It gives me a sense of purpose.
Venasio is a 17-year-old boy, he was extremely underweight only weighing about the same as a 4-year-old in the UK.
He has a tumour the size of a watermelon on his thigh which has been bleeding for so long, he has lost so much blood and it has made him in a very poor condition and stopped him from being able to walk properly.
The tumour had started as a blister when Venasio was a baby, but it had grown over time. His family had been through a lot they had visited many different hospitals. The tumour had become so large that as he grew up, he was no longer able to walk.
By the time he came to us his blood counts were really low. We couldn’t operate to remove the tumour. We struggled to find enough blood, and the family had lost hope. They had asked relatives for blood before at other hospitals and they felt too ashamed to ask again.
It was very sad for us to see this boy who had lost so much weight just lying there. He was so ill. He desperately needed surgery.
The nursing team at the hospital decided to donate blood, we all donated blood and we got his blood count up.
We were able to remove the tumour. Today we are so excited we have just been able to get him to walk again for the first time."
Venasio’s Mum said:
"My son’s illness started as a small blister when he was a baby, but it grew into a huge tumour. We went to so many hospitals for injections, but they didn’t help. We had to pay money each time. We are farmers, we grow maize, but we make very little money and it is not enough for the household.
Any money that we made we have been using to pay for Venasio’s hospital treatment. I have four children, but my other children can’t go to school because any money has gone on paying to try and get my son cured.
Venasio has never been to school because he has been sick. I would love my children to go to school but this has not been possible.
Venasio taking his first steps after his operation
I am so happy that the surgeons at KCH have managed to finally remove Vanasio’s tumour. He has spent 17 years suffering. For the first time I am quite hopeful for the rest of Venasio’s life. I hope there will now be less suffering in my family now."
Kids Operating Room installed a new operating room dedicated to children at the Kamazu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Venasio’s operation finally happened because surgeons had the right equipment to make him better. Together with the love of his family, and the love and dedication of the surgical team who donated their own blood to save him.
With your help we can give more children like Venasio a chance to thrive rather than just survive.
"I am so happy that the surgeons at KCH have managed to finally remove Vanasio’s tumour. He has spent 17 years suffering. For the first time I am quite hopeful for the rest of Venasio’s life."