A&K Global Health recently celebrated an extra-special birthday with one of our patients. Lynn Nkatha of Mombasa, Kenya turned 11 years old last month while staying at Narayana Multispecialty Hospital in Bangalore, India. Sponsored by Kenya’s National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and facilitated by A&K Global Health, Lynn and her mother, Carolyne Bundi, traveled here for Lynn to undergo a series of advanced orthopedic surgeries and physical therapies.
Lynn was born a healthy baby, but suffered acute bacterial meningitis at 10 months old, the complications of which left her with cerebral palsy. With anti-seizure medications and astute care from her pediatric neurologists in Kenya, Lynn’s seizures eventually subsided, but her lower body remained restricted: bilateral contractures of her knee and ankle joints confined Lynn to a wheelchair. Nevertheless, her family and physicians continued to believe she could progress. Years of dedicated physiotherapy and occupational therapy have indeed improved her social, motor, and cognitive functions; Lynn is independent in many activities of daily living, and even attends a special school. But her doctors felt she would be capable of more, if only her mobility could be restored.
Through the NHIF, Lynn’s doctors referred her to A&K Global Health, strongly recommending expert orthopedic surgery and physical rehabilitation unavailable within Kenya. Our Care Consultants in Mombasa quickly liaised with A&K Global Health’s partner hospitals to find the best fit for transferring Lynn’s case. Once Carolyne settled on Narayana Hospital in Bangalore, India, our Care Consultants readied her and her child for travel.
Mother and daughter arrived safely in Bangalore on April 8th, 2016 and were received by A&K Global Health Operations Officers, who took them directly to Narayana Hospital for admission.
There they met with Dr. Rajendra Reddy, Orthopedic Surgeon and Pediatric Orthopedist at Narayana, who began pre-surgical investigations straightaway. Over the next two weeks Lynn underwent multiple surgeries to her knees and ankles, with each procedure followed by physiotherapy twice a day during her recovery.
Lynn’s intensive treatment regimen received a lighthearted interruption on April 25th when the A&K Global Health Operations Officers managing her case surprised her in her hospital room by showing up to celebrate her 11th birthday. She beamed with pleasure as she tasted her birthday cake, in spite of the pain medications and challenging physiotherapy that were also part of her special day. “We made [Lynn] laugh today,” said Rolwin Mathias, A&K Global Health’s Bangalore Operations Manager. “As per her doctor, she is improving. If she starts walking…I personally feel it will be a miracle for her family. I hope that she will recover completely and walk without anyone’s support.”
Dr. Reddy has noted Lynn’s progress. Just before her birthday, he announced that hip replacement – an additional surgery Lynn was initially thought to require – was no longer necessary, and estimated that Lynn has a 50% chance of walking once her full treatment is complete. The most recent of her carefully sequenced treatments involved the application of plaster “inhibiting casts” to her lower legs and feet to immobilize her deformed joints in the proper position. The weekend before last, Lynn was discharged from Narayana with this report from Dr. Reddy: “Miss Lynn is walking independently on parallel bars and with assistance in a walker.” Her mother’s discharge summary? “A&K Global Health has given new life to my daughter.” Lynn will spend the next two months at home in Mombasa, allowing her casts to complete the work that her surgeries in Bangalore initiated, while receiving continual care management through A&K Global Health. And this summer, we will coordinate Lynn and Carolyne’s return to Bangalore for Lynn to have her casts removed and continue physiotherapy with Dr. Reddy.
Lynn’s 12th year of life holds great promise. As she forges ahead on her health journey, we’ll be supporting her every step of the way. We’ll also keep readers updated on her progress here on the A&K Global Health blog!
In the photograph above: Cheered on by her mother, Carolyne Bundi, 11-year-old A&K Global Health patient Lynn Nkatha takes the first steps of her life assisted by a walker. Lynn traveled from Mombasa, Kenya and has spent the past month at Narayana Multispecialty Hospital in Bangalore, India undergoing multiple orthopedic surgeries and physiotherapies to help her regain mobility in her lower body lost in her infancy to cerebral palsy.
In the photograph below: From left to right, Narayana Hospital staff, Lynn’s mother Carolyne Bundi, Lynn, and A&K Global Health team members join in celebrating Lynn’s auspicious 11th birthday, which passed during her hospital stay in Bangalore.
A&K Global Health
A&K Global Health is a worldwide leader in realizing transparent, affordable, effective and innovative solutions to complex health challenges. We connect you with the right care for your needs, from coordinating international medical travel to facilitating quality local and regional treatment. We also optimize the impact of health institutions by introducing transparency, control and customization to the medical, financial and experiential aspects of your journey. A&K Global Health is dedicated to empowering you to reach your highest health. Contact us today to learn how we can support you.