LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes

THE curtains have dropped on two-year-old Maradona Mundyoli who for a year groaned under the weight of a 10 kilogram bulging tummy for one year and some months.

He has died.

When the Sun was making a routine follow-up on boy’s plight the family informed the reporter that “your friend Maradona” died during an operation at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) around 09:00 hours because he had lost a lot of blood.

Efforts by conventional and traditional doctors to save his life proved futile.

Operation

In an interview with the Sun, which has been closely following and covering his plight, Maradona’s grandfather, Most Hachaamba, OF Zimba district, Southern Province, said his grandson had been taken to the theatre for an operation at UTH on July 24 so that surgeons could remove the growth that had been making his tammy bulge like a balloon.

But the boy could not make it.

It was a long, agonising battle that saw little Maradona admitted to UTH twice as doctors frantically looked for the cause of the distension of his belly.

Mr Hachaamba said during the operation the surgeons removed something that looked like a chuck of flesh and fat and was coiled weighing 10.1kg.

“Maradona died on July 24 in Lusaka at UTH during an operation around 09:00 hours, and we buried him on July 25 they remove something that looked like bundle of flesh and fat weighing 10.1 kg.

“The doctor told as that he had lost a lot of blood during the operation, and that they tried to give him blood but it did not help,” Mr Hachaamba said.

Sad

He said it was sad that the child died during an operation in the morning and they were only informed about his death around 13:00 hours.

The family is in grief after all their efforts to help the boy failed.

“It’s very painful to lose Maradona after struggling with him, with hope that he would be fine,” a downcast Mr Hachaamba said.

He said last week he tried to call the doctor who operated on him to find out what was in the chunk of flesh that was removed from his tummy.

The doctor informed him the growth had been taken to the laboratory, but the results had not yet come out.

Maradona was admitted to the UTH in December 2018.

He was partially discharged on April 19 this year, and was scheduled for review on April 15, which the family ignored.

The family said that the boy would not be taken back to the hospital because he had been hospitalised for four months during which medical personnel had failed to establish what the problem was.

They decided to place the boy under traditional treatment for two weeks starting from April 15, the day he was scheduled to be taken back to UTH.

Mr Hachaamba told the Sun then that the boy’s tummy had continued to grow despite being on traditional medication for a month and some weeks now.

He said Maradona had even stopped walking because of the size of the belly, which was growing bigger each day.

He said his grandchild was spending most of the time sitting as he could not manage to get up and play properly with his friends.

Later, the child could not even manage to sit but spent all day and night lying on either side of his body.

Witchdoctor failed

Mr Hachaamba said the traditional healer who had been treating the boy had asked the family to give him one more week before they could take him back UTH so that he could try the new traditional medicine that he had recently discovered.

“He told us that he had discovered a different type of traditional medicine, which he said might work on our grandson. So, we have granted him the one more week that he asked for to work on him. Otherwise, plans of taking him back to the hospital are underway,” he said.

Mr Hachaamba said Maradona would only be taken back to UTH should the traditional healer fail in the one-week extension he had been given.

He, however, expressed worry that the boy was not showing any signs of pain or suffering despite his worsening condition.

Bewitched?

The traditional made the situation even worse when he told Mr Hachaamba that the boy had been bewitched with the charm of a desert frog, which was why his belly was looking like a balloon.

It was reported that the traditional healer also told them that the chances of the boy getting better were slim on grounds that they sought for help very late.

Farewell Maradona, little fighter.

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