Teenager’s lifelong dreams shattered by mysterious skin disease
Julius Sserugo was born normal and healthy to Mr. Pius Assiimwe and Rosemary Kyogabire in Kitonezi village 24 years ago in Rakai district.
He played and went to school like any other healthy child. However, At age 13 in primary five, his parents dropped him out of school due to financial constraints added to his poor performance.
They decided to bring him to Kampala for better opportunities. In Kampala, he was taken to Kawempe Lugoba to live with a relative from his place he would learn mechanics.
After six months of his stay in Kawempe, Julius got a “simple” motor accident and his only injury was just a bruise on his leg. Medical reports proved all was well and life went back to normal.
However, a few days later after the accident, his skin started growing rushes that became skin bumps with pus discharge. Disturbed with the sudden complications, his guardian took him back to the Village.
“While In Kitonezi village, we took Julius to Katwiiro hospital in Rakai with hope that doctors would find a solution for his complicated rush. He was given medication that would help heal his unknown sickness.
He took the medication as the doctors had prescribed it but it did not help. We later took him to Mulago Hospital Mbarara branch but the results after the medication were disappointing.
We again decided to take him to ‘Mulago’ hospital of Masaka but still, no care was received. We then chose to bring him to Mulago (National Referral) hospital in Kampala but just like it had happened at the previous health centers, the same story happened.
During the process of trying to diagnose his illness, doctors cut some pieces off Julius’ butt. These wounds too never healed. The wounds are still open and haven’t healed till todate.” recounts his father.
The doctors failed to find exactly what was eating up Sserugo. After losing hope in scientists, Julius’ parents opted for a spiritual kind of healing.
They started taking him to churches especially those that received praises for their miracles but even with all the faith that kept them moving from hospitals to churches, their son’s condition didn’t improve. Having ran out of options in town, they moved back to the village.
“I have lived with this pain for eleven years. I cannot say I am used to it, but it’s part of me. It is the life I believe I am destined to. Until God takes my last breath “says Sserugo while laying on his bed.
The young man continued to take all medications the doctors had prescribed until he lost hope and refused to take them any more.
With all the efforts they had invested in his health, Sserugo’s condition has never shown any signs of improvement. His nails became so hard and his parents cannot dare cut them off because he feels indescribable pain when they dare cut them.
His lower abdomen became darker and skinnier with more bumps producing pus. He cannot stand, sit comfortably or sleep on his stomach. His only position is to lay on his back with the help of a pillow. Besides the sheets that cover his mattress and lower body, his bed side is filled with bible scriptures and the bible itself.
“My father lost hope and is depressed. My mother lives in pain. They lost hope. However, I believe I will get well because I know God has kept me today for a reason.”
Mr. Pius, Sserugo’s father says after they had spent all money and there was no improvement, he told his story to one sympathizer who led him to radio simba. He told Julius’ story on air but since both his and Julius’ mother’s numbers were not registered on Mobile money, they shared that of the sympathizer whose name he does not recall.
“I took Julius to all hospitals I could, he was examined many times, put on oxygen but still, everything was in vain. We reached an extent of cutting all that which had developed into wounds so that pus would ooze out. We collected many buckets from him. Unfortunately, those wounds too have never healed.
“He took me to radio simba and I was given a chance to tell Julius’s story on radio. However, of the money he received for my son, he only gave us shs 15000/= a few times, then told us that people were not sending in money. We later lost contact with him.”
Since Julius is his first son, his father had all his hopes in him. The situation got him depressed and he has failed to concentrate well on the remaining family members. Even at his sick bed, Julius still helps in providing for his family.
“A family friend managed to buy him Petro. This Petro we put in cans. It is from here that motto cyclists and other customers come, take Petro and leave the money as Julius spends most of his time indoors.. The little money Julius gets is added to what his parents get from doing odd jobs in the village to cater for the family needs.” His father says.
“I wish someone would help me to create a better earning opportunity. I wish to see the outside too. I am tired of staying indoors.” Julius concludes