It is exactly one year and five months ago when the now heart healthy ten year old Timothy Ochom was diagnosed with a life threatening heart disease. He had to drop out of school at the age of seven in primary two for failure to cope due to the disease. His parents living a humble country life as peasant farmers in rural Bukedea had completely nothing to save the boy’s life. Over Eighteen Million Uganda Shillings (Ushs. 18,000,000) was required to do an open heart surgery.
One step at a time, efforts to save the boy’s life began taking shape with the help of Emmaus Foundation (EF) a Charity Organization in Kampala. These efforts were spearheaded by a one Good Samaritan Ms. Rose Omuria, a mere neighbor with Timothy’s family back in the village, who opened up her Kampala home to Timothy’s family to enable Timothy access periodic visits to Mulago National Referral Hospital and also enable the boy stand a chance of an open heart surgery as had been recommended by specialists of the same Institution.
Unfortunately, Timothy’s need for surgery came in at a time when the country’s biggest National Referral Hospital was going through very serious internal crises ranging from according to Public Media: lack of reagents that had led to indefinite suspension of laboratory tests, patients had to enter the hospital with their own medical supplies such as drugs and sundries etc. However, this was just beside the point; most scaring was that surgical procedures were being differed indefinitely amidst sporadic supply of oxygen to theaters as reported by the Daily Monitor of Friday, July 28,2017 Pg. 4 and 5 as attached. Amidst such situations Emmaus Foundation and its longtime partner Italia Uganda and everybody on board didn’t give up on Timothy; and like hundreds of heart patients the boy was at some point advised to go back to the village and wait for two whole months, while waiting for a chance to be slotted in for surgery, amidst bouts of pain and attacks.
It was a day to be grateful for although filled with a mixture of fear, anxiety and uncertainty. It was on January 10, 2018 that the frail looking boy was whisked into the surgery room after beating a whole night’s impromptu queuing. The open heart procedure that commenced at 7.30am and anticipated to last eight hours lasted twelve hours and behold! It was a success. The critical phase was over, the process of recovery set in; with almost a week in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) the little boy fought the battle and has steadily progressed into recovery and regained strength by the day.
Timothy was discharged on January 25, 2018 with all medical costs completely cleared; Special thanks go to Italia Uganda and Bank of Uganda for donating towards the noble life-saving and to Emmaus Foundation, for bridging all the critical players to successfully bring to a close of an implementation chapter; and to the Good Samaritan Ms. Rose Omuria, who selflessly played the role of Timothy’s mother and guardian. She is that special link that spotted the specialists at Mulago National Referral Hospital, possible donors, followed up and updated all parties; she housed, provided for and comforted the very sick boy’s biological parents until this moment. Amazingly, Ms. Rose Omuria is just a compassionate human being who saw a need to save a life of a neighbors’ child and stepped in; completely unaware of the demands, emotional stress and financial strain. She has sacrificed so much at the expense of her own beloved family and an extremely and exceptionally understanding husband, just for Timothy.
Timothy Ochom is alive and free from constant pain that had robbed him of his joy since childhood; he is already planning for a new journey of attaining an education, to secure his future.