Dubbed, quite cruelly, as the “Elephant Boy” Vincent Oketch is bed-bound, unable to walk and is forced to wear dresses because his legs are too large to fit into trousers. Doctors in his tiny village of Peta say the boy may die soon if he is not treated. They are appealing to the international community for help.
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Tito Opoya, the boy’s father says that “It really upsets him because he has to wear pink and the other kids tease him,” according to the Daily Mail. “He is only small, but his legs are really heavy and weigh more than he does.”
When Vincent was 18-months-old, his parents notices that his legs were swelling but they lacked the funds to take him to a doctor. And even the doctors he does have access to do not know how to help him.
The Daily Mail has more:
Dr Osire, who runs an organisation called EDYAC, helps children from poor villages access medical treatment. He took Vincent in his car to a hospital in Kampala to see if surgeons there could operate.
Doctors carried out MRI scans and at first believed Vincent was suffering from a complicated mix of a faulty lymphatic system, elephantiasis and tissue deformity.
They also discovered the swelling had affected Vincent’s bones, leading to a dislocated hip and broken ankles.
However, they say biopsy results now suggest Vincent may also have necrotising fasciitis, a flesh-eating infection, which could be fatal if untreated.
Dr Osire said: ‘The hospital now says it is considering amputation of Vincent’s legs at the thigh. I’m very worried about this, because we keep hearing different diagnoses.
‘It’s difficult to know what is correct. We desperately need a British doctor, or foreign medical expert, who can offer advice about Vincent’s case.
‘The case is extremely complex and we’d like to find out if there is anything that can be done to save his legs.’ A British doctor currently visiting Uganda hopes to be able to see Vincent in the next few weeks to assess his condition.
Dr Osire said: ‘We’re extremely grateful for any help. We urgently need outside medical advice because the case may be too complicated to be treated locally.