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09.01.2006 Health

Book on a mysterious disease launch in Accra

By GNA

Accra, Jan. 9, GNA - A 167-page book on the mysterious deadly disease Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), which according to medical experts affect one in a million people was at the week-end launched in Accra.

The book titled; "O Love...That Will Not Let Me Go," authored by the late Ms Akosua Deedei Adu, 44, a Banker with National Westminster Bank (NatWest) in United Kingdom, detailed the natural history of rare disease that had not been heard of by many including medical practitioners.

According to Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Chief Executive Officer of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, LAM is a rare lung disease of unknown aetiology affecting almost exclusively, women of childbearing age.

It is characterised by an unusual type of muscle cell that invades the tissue of the lungs, including the airways, blood and lymph vessels, and overtime the muscle cells form into bundles and grow into the walls of the airways, blood and lymph vessels, causing them to become narrowed.

Prof Frimpong-Boateng said the disease is not a cancer, "however the abnormal muscle cells act somewhat like cancer cells in that they grow uncontrollably throughout the lung and finally block the flow of air, blood and lymph to and from the lungs, preventing the lungs from providing oxygen to the rest of the body.

"The disease is exacerbated by pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives...as with most respiratory disease the most common symptom of LAM is shortness of breath with physical activity." Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, who is also the Director of the National Cardio-Thoracic Centre, said in the early stages of the disease, the person with LAM may experience shortness of breath only during strenuous exercise, but as the disease advances there may be shortness of breath even at rest and patients may become permanently dependent on oxygen. Reviewing the book, Mr Robert Kafui Johnson, a Management and Communication Consultant, described the book as "a compelling, must-read and must-have book for every home, family, individual, church, office and institution.

He said the book also encourages Christians to journey through the Christian faith, "a difficult but necessary one, up to the point when there is the realisation that you are at the mercy of God who is merciful".

Mr Johnson, who is also the Missions Director of the Kingdom of God Mission International Church, noted the minimal use of "big words," in the book, but observed that the book would have been greatly enhanced by the inclusion of few features quotations from the writers personal one. The former Ghana News Agency, General Manager also called for better technical production of Christian publications, saying it was time for Christian authors to engage professionals rather than doing it themselves.

The attractive posthumous publication has a multi-colour water painting background with a replica of a hand holding firmly and carefully an egg embedded at the centre right side of the book. The symbol epitomises how God mysteriously holds mankind in his hand and also reminds mankind of the preciousness of life, which has been personified as an egg in one's hand.

The author consciously provides deep, real-life insight as she recounts her experiences with a rare degenerative, life-threatening disease and her search for healing over a period of 18 years in 14 sub-chapters.

The titles include: "O Dear, What Can The Matter Be? "A journey through the wilderness"; "Warning! Natural and man-made hazards ahead"; "No clear signposts, roads or pathways-Guide essential"; "Is there no balm in Gilead?

Others were: "My quest for healing - Uncharted territory"; "Many routes that leads to, who knows where? "To be or not to be - Lung transplant surgery"; "Nevertheless...I believe in healing"; "Gold nuggets, gems and precious stones along the way"; "It's not over yet"; "I wait"; "I have crossed my finish line" and "The Enigma of healing". Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, the Reverend Dennis Osei-Manu Head Pastor of Covenant Family Community Church and Ms Joyce R Aryee, Chief Executive of Ghana Chamber of Mines jointly launched the book. The author, Ms Akosua Deedei Adu was born on February 21st 1960 to Mrs Winifred and Mr Ammishaddai Adu of Adosu-Akropong in the Eastern Region and passed away on December 29, 2004 after a protracted LAM sickness for 18 years.

The memorial launch was in fulfilment her wish that all the writings and experience be published to guide others who may encounter the challenges of life. 9 Jan. 06

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