Ailing ex-AFC Leopards, Ulinzi player seeks more funds for treatment
The family of former AFC Leopards and Ulinzi Stars striker Ezekiel Otuoma has sent an impassioned appeal for more funds to enable him seek further medical attention.
According to his wife Rachael, the ailing player underwent treatment in India but no improvement on his health has been noted.
“We flew him to India but the condition seems to be getting worse hence the Save our Souls (SoS) we have sent to well-wishers,’’ said Rachael.
The disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, attacks the motor neurons of the brain and spinal cord, causing swift muscle degeneration.
The biological mechanisms that cause the disease are only partially understood and it is believed there is no known cure.
Otuoma, who until his ailment was turning out for newly-promoted Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League side FC Talanta, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease in November 2020, thus forcing him to prematurely end his football career.
It all started with a persistent cough with medical tests showing that his brain and nerves were paralyzed.
“The onset of the cough was between November and December 2020 before he lost his voice after which he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone,” explained Rachael.
Touched by the player’s plight of Otuoma who has lost his power of speech, betting platform Odibets through their initiative ’Odimtaani’, paid his medical bill of Ksh 2.5 million in Germany to facilitate his treatment in India in May 2021.
According to medical experts, Motor Neurone disease is most commonly diagnosed in those over the age of 40 years but can also afflict those aged between 50 and 70 years. In some cases, though, symptoms can first appear in a person’s 20s. Usually the onset of motor neurone disease is gradual but younger patients may show a more rapid progression.
In a quarter of cases, problems initially affect the muscles used for speech and swallowing. Increasingly slurred speech (dysarthria) is usually the first sign of this type of motor neurone disease, and may be misdiagnosed as a stroke.