An epileptic woman, Grace Nakagulire has suffered severe burns on her face after she allegedly fell face down into fire last weekend during one of her epileptic fits. She fell face down into fire after she had one of her attacks when she went to the kitchen unsupervised. Her cousin who shared the photos said the victim has been suffering epilepsy since she was 3 years of age. What she wrote after the cut....+ graphic photos.
My cousin, Grace Nakagulire has lived with epilepsy since she was three years old. Most of her life, she lived with her mother in the village. She loves to crochet table clothes and chair covers with wool. She has one child.
Last weekend, Nakagulire went unsupervised to the kitchen when tea-water was boiling. She got an epilepsy attack. She fell face-down into the fire and sustained severe burns to her face and hand. A relative found her lying unconcious in the fire. Fearing that the worst had happened, she raised an alarm for help.
Villagers gathered and advised my aunt not to go to hospital, but rather take Nakagulire to a local herbalist in a neighbouring village. The police from Buwama also came to the scene. They asked my aunt for Thirty Thousand Shillings to transport my cousin to Nkozi Hospital. Upon observing the burns and wounds on my cousin's body, doctors at Nkozi referred her to Mulago Hospital. For Two Hundred Thousand Shillings, an ambulance transferred her to the brand new facility of Mulago Hospital located in Kiruddu, along Salaama Road.
I went twice to visit Nakagulire at the hospital. I was very impressed. The spacious lifts work perfectly. The tiled toilets are very clean and they flash. Hospital admission and medical care are free. Admitted patients get a free warm meal daily. The Intensive Care Unit on fourth floor is devoted to only patients with severe burns and wounds. The staff on day-duty are very kind. They let me in. I saw all sorts of patients: an eleven-months'-old baby with a burnt face and arm, a youth severely burnt by acid, a man burnt inside his house in an arson attack that killed his two children, a builder electrocuted while working on the roof of a house... The staff on night-duty are very strict. They barred me and my kids from entering the ward. Fair enough!
Epilepsy is still real in Uganda. Many Baganda still believe it is a cultural illness which is only treatable using traditional therapies. It is important to address the stigmatisation of people living with epilepsy. Epileptic people can live full whole lives, when they adhere to medical regimes. Families and carers of people living with epilepsy need our support.
In the event of severe burns due to falling into fires, the new Mulago Hospital facility at Kiruddu has got expert staff and services to provide requisite healthcare, even for people with epilepsy. I have observed my cousin improving by leaps and bounds!