Surgery of Didasio Mwanza in South Africa

Surgery in SA July 2013 02 JPEGI had a car accident on the 17th May 2011 on my way from Bamako to Gao in Mali. I was lucky to be taken immediately to Bamako. A fracture on the spine at the level of the neck was diagnosed and the doctors did what they could to keep it stable. I stayed in Bamako for treatment and moved back to Gao in November 2011. But, the Provincial Council of PAO thought it wise to bring me back again to Bamako where I could receive medical attention if needed since I was still experiencing pain.
I was therefore appointed to Korofina Parish where I could continue my physiotherapy treatments which was reducing my discomfort. At times, the pain was stronger, mostly at night. Doctors recommended me for further medical attention and a time of rest. So, in April 2012, my request was well receive by the Provincial Councils of PAO and SAP.
I was back to Zambia in June, 2012. Meanwhile, I felt a bit better and I was asked to give a hand in the Formation House in Balaka while still on treatment. I arrived in Balaka in October 2012. I spent one academic year which was a blessing for me. Then, I asked the Provincial Council if I could go for further medical attention as the pain was persisting. I could not sleep well. The request was accepted and I flew to South Africa on the 20th July 2013. I got my first appointment two days later.
The first diagnosis was quite revealing. I had a fracture on the base of the odontoid with 50% anterior displacement of the odontoid peg on the body of Cervical 2. It was a life threatening fracture. According to the doctor. Such fracture are supposed to be operated upon immediately or at least within a week. My case has become very complicated. They did not know what to do. They were puzzled on how I could have survived. Each movement was a mortal risk. I could have just fallen down or received a simple shock on the neck and that would have been death.
After a thorough research on my case and days of anxious waiting, I was called back to the hospital. I was informed that it was vital that I should undergo a cervical surgery which was quite delicate. If the injury would have been new, some screws to hold the vertebrae in position would have been enough. But, because of being an old injury, a bone grafting was needed. The chance of success was only 50%.
Surgery in SA July 2013 03Before the operation on the neck, I spent 48 hours under traction which happened to be the most painful part of the whole process. Finally, the operation took place on the 29th July. The bone for transplant was taken from my hip which was an operation by itself. Then, the bone was fixed on my neck putting the vertebrae together attached with wires.
I was discharged after eleven days but remained under medication. I also had physiotherapy for some weeks. During this time, the M.Afr community in South Africa, particularly in Edenglen, was a blessing for me. I felt a brotherhood care and love. It was very therapeutic for me. I also had a chance to be with my extended family members who are living in Johannesburg. I had a visit of my aunties and uncles each weekend. As a matter of fact, I have a little cousin who spent weekends with me. So life was not so boring and lonely. God has His own ways to help us to bear our crosses.
Surgery in SA July 2013 01 JPEGI am getting back to normal slowly. My neck is still a bit stiff, but the pain has reduced significantly. I will never move it as before but, over time, I can get back about 70% percent of its normal movements. For me, this surgical operation marks the end of a long suffering and the beginning of a new life. This event taught me to value each minute and to live it meaningfully with love and gratitude. The scars behind my neck and my back will always hold a story.
God bless.
Didasio Mwanza, M.Afr

5 thoughts on “Surgery of Didasio Mwanza in South Africa

  1. Virgilius

    God has done it for you! Just joining you in thanking Him for the wonders he has performed in your life. I also pray for all people God used to come to your quick aid. Be blessed always!

  2. Fraternally Charles Obanya, Provincial EAP

    A quite moving story. I thank God the man is still alive and able to tell the story. He used to pass by St. Oscar’s Parish in Petauke, Zambia on his way to Lusaka for medication. Little did we know that the man was in serious danger. Thank you the Missionaries of Africa who have helped Fr. Didasio in so many ways to see to it that he is healed. I wish Fr. Didasio quick healing and all the best.
    Fr. Lazarus Nyirenda, St. Oscar’s Parish, Petauke, Zambia.
    Lazarus Nyirenda
    Dear Dedasio
    Greetings from Nairobi. We had about your accident in Mali but did not know that it did such a damage to your life. As we pray for your recovery we thank God that you finally landed in capable medical hands there in South Africa.
    Martin Luther’s life was saved because he did not sneeze after an injury. It is providential you did not get that simple fall, or a shock on your neck which the doctors say would have been mortal.
    God bless you with long life.
    Fraternally Charles Obanya, Provincial EAP

  3. Lucy Mwenda

    Its really a touching story. I kept in touch with you from the time the accident happened but little did I knew how serious the condition was. I thank God that you are now fine. You are among the blessed dearest. God has saved your life for a purpose. Struggle now to find what God has for you for the rest of your years and be happy. May God be with you.

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