The parents of a 10 year old, who lost her life to sinuses, have opened up on how traumatizing the death of their child was especially because it would have been prevented.
They are speaking out to educate many others who are uninformed about the condition.
Richard Mureithi, the father of the late Abigael Wangari said it has been hard on everybody in the family to lose a child at such a young age.
Her mother Maryann Wanja said it started with a cold that just would not go away for the past three years.
“Over the years, I asked about the wet cough during frequent visits to the paediatrician and specialists across Nairobi.
Although doctors sometimes seemed concerned, many were reassuring.
Kids get frequent respiratory infections, you shouldn’t worry. Nothing showed up on tests, they variously told me,”
Abigael fell ill at least three times a year her parents decided to seek another doctor’s advice.
The doctor through definitive diagnosis involving CT scan and endoscopy confirmed that Abby, as she was fondly known had chronic sinusitis.
“Shortly after she turned 10 a new specialist weighed in he zeroed in on a key and largely overlooked aspect of her medical history.
Then he told us that our daughter was suffering from chronic sinusitis.
The doctor said that the disorder can be hard to diagnose as it mimics common, less-severe conditions such as flu,” Maryann said.
Abby started treatment but two days later she passed on.”
Abby’s parents would have preferred that the correct diagnosis had not taken that long.
Early detection might have spared their daughter from an irreversible consequence “We would have been able to treat her much earlier,” Maryann said. “The key is awareness.”
Chronic sinusitis is a deadly disease, but Richard says Abby’s case was not contagious.
The couple wants other parents to keep their eyes open in case their children experience similar symptoms such as headaches, fevers, nasal congestions, facial pain, ear infections, or difficulty when breathing.
“I mean even if you just take five minutes to look into what the symptoms are of different sinuses, just to educate yourself a little bit so that when your child has any of those symptoms, you request for definitive tests,” Richard said.