Sickle cell pain is equivalent to sawing my leg — Patient reveals

  Wed, 19 Jun 2024
Health Sickle cell pain is equivalent to sawing my leg — Patient reveals

“The pain I feel in my legs is like something continuously sawing my leg; you won’t wish such pain even for your worst enemy,” Mr. Kwaku Kwateng Yeboah, a sickle cell patient, has revealed.

Mr. Yeboah, who is the Programme Coordinator for the Sickle Cell Condition Advocate (SICCA), speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) about the challenges he lives with as a sickle cell patient, said, “You live like that all your life because a couple thought that they were in love so they could marry and give birth without regard to their sickle cell status.”

He said this in commemoration of World Sickle Cell Day, which is observed annually on June 19, to raise awareness about the illness, focusing on the challenges faced by those who suffer from it.

This year's celebration theme is “Hope Through Progress: Advancing Care Globally.”

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that causes sickle-shaped red blood cells to block the flow of blood and oxygen to all areas of the body, affecting both haemoglobin and red blood cells.

Mr. Yeboah, 44 years old, wearing a faint smile on his face, said he has survived four near deaths, stating that it is a bit difficult to talk about the many challenges he lives with because of his condition.

He recalled some of the episodes he had in Kumasi and Bonso Clinic when the medics thought he would not survive, adding that “the recent one is three years ago when I woke up and could not walk and had to be rushed to the hospital, and the doctor told me that I almost suffered a stroke.”

He disclosed that since that incident, he has not been able to wear a shoe for the past three years, as any time he tries it, he feels severe pain in his leg, and it becomes grumpy.

“I have lived the stigma of being a sickle cell patient all my life. In school, people say to me that sickle cell people don't keep long and die, but by God's grace, I have survived it,” he said.

On his journey to becoming a husband and a father, he stated that it was not easy as families do not want them to join them, noting that “there were incidents when parents have told me in the face that I can’t marry their daughter; it takes time to get a date because I always put my status out there.”

He, however, stated that he was lucky to have the family of his wife, who is of the AA genotype, agree for them to marry, adding that they have stayed married for the past nine years and given birth to three boys.

He urged people with AA genotypes to agree to marry the two percent of the population with SS genotypes to ensure that the disease is prevented.

Mr. Yeboah urged people to check and know their status before falling in love, advising that two people with an 'S' in their genotypes should marry and bring forth children, as doing so could lead to giving birth to 'SS' children with its health and financial implications.

“If you do so, your children will drill a hole in your pocket, as you will use all your money on their health,” he cautioned.


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