Thursday, 22 November 2012

Of Blood Transfusions, Unplanned Flights and Bad News...

Written on 10/04/2011

Hi Everybody,
I have been wanting to write a long email about all our many adventures from Nimule, Southern Sudan to Kampala, Uganda for some time but it will have to wait for a bit. However, there is some unfortunate news...

As you all know, Billy had Malaria and Typhoid in Southern Sudan and took a knock. On arrival in Kampala, we both decided to go for blood tests to check for any weird viruses or deficiencies. My results were fine but Billy's haemoglobin and white blood cells were almost non existent. Dr Stockley, a scottish man with an MBE in tropical diseases, was amazed that Billy could even walk and suggested he got on the next flight to Johannesburg to get checked out properly.

That night (Monday 28th March), Billy had to have 3 pints of blood to get his haemoglobin levels high enough to fly. I gave a pint. Our new friend John gave a pint, plus 3 lovely anonymous Ugandans came in to donate...
First thing Tuesday morning he was on a flight to Joburg where his best friends, Simon and Kim picked him up and took him to the Donald Gordon Medical Centre. There he was admitted and had a bone marrow biopsy on the same day.

Meanwhile, I was still in Kampala at the Backpackers with the horses...
Results of the biopsy came back on Thursday. Billy has Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I managed to find a lovely lady to look after our very special boys and got on the next flight...
Billy then had to have 7 days of chemotherapy and is now in the first recovery phase. He will be in hospital for a while, waiting for his bone marrow to regenerate and his blood count to go up. When this happens he can go home (to Simon and Kim's) for a couple of weeks break before coming back into hospital for more chemo.

Prognosis is very good. Billy remains very positive even with the horrible effects of the chemo.
We have had so much support, love and prayers from all over the world - Thank you!
We are very fortunate to be covered by medical aid and have not had to pay for anything so far. I am staying with Simon and Kim and am being looked after so well!
Chami and Nali are having a lovely time with 14 other horses on the banks of Lake Victoria and are waiting patiently for our return... We will be back in the saddle soon having overcome this challenge like all the others before!
Chami and Nali's new herd of friends!
 Kind regards,
Christy and Billy

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