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Abubakr was a perfectly healthy young man, with a very good job working in a factory in Kampala, until he was about 24, when he developed prickling pain in his hands and feet, and dark spots on his arms and legs which peeled his skin off and left open sores, seemingly without an explanation. Shortly after that, his arms and leg muscles began to waste away, and his joints became contracted in his knees, wrists and elbows, preventing him from straightening them - leaving him paralysed and bedridden. His mother, who has six other children besides Abubakr, took him to doctor after doctor to figure out what was wrong, and his condition was so severe that they recommended amputating his arms. Fortunately, his mother refused to do this and hoped that he would recover.

Rays of Hope Hospice Jinja found Abubakr in September 2018, living in a small, one-

bedroom house with his mother and siblings. He was in excruciating pain from the sores all over his body, and his mother was struggling to take care of him. She used to have a restaurant in town, which allowed her to provide for her children, as their father abandoned them after seeing Abubakr’s condition. Due to the fact that her son was bedridden, and required constant care, she had to close down her business to look after him full time. Abubakr was isolated and depressed as his mother could not lift him to take him out the house, so he spent everyday confined to his bed. He has not been able to undergo medical investigations, but it appears to be a genetic disease, which allows for the build-up of toxins in the body, that is causing his symptoms.

Now, after a year of care, the wounds all over Abubakr’s body have healed and he is doing so much better. The greatest help we have given his family, though, is a wheelchair. This has changed not only Abubakr’s life, but his mother’s too. She is able to push him around their small village, take him to the shops and just let him have some fresh air outside of their small house. Most importantly, it relieves his mother of some of the stress of looking after him, as friends can help now, thanks to the wheelchair. His mother hopes that she can start up her business again, and generate an income to look after her children, knowing that Abubakr can be looked after by other people while she is away.

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