In Summary
  • In 2017, Kayla was left fighting for her life after being locked in a car for several hours. The incident gathered a lot of sympathy from members of the public with some individuals contributing towards her medical expenses. Phionah Nassanga found out how little Kayla is doing today.

In 2017, Dinah Ahimbisibwe Ruvuza, a mother of two went through every mother’s worst nightmare when she found her then three-year-old daughter, Michaela Keeza commonly known as Kayla, locked up in a car for several hours. In the process, she had suffocated and was left fighting for her life.

Kayla was later diagnosed with brain hypoxia, a condition which occurs due to restriction of oxygen to the brain.
In this particular case, Kayla’s movements and vision were affected and her chances of recovering became unpredictable. She would do nothing without any support.

Over time, funds were raised for Kayla’s treatment and unlike before, Ruvuza says her child’s condition greatly improved.
However, during the interview, Ruvuza says Kayla’s treatment requires them to take her back to hospital after six months to extract the bone marrow to improve her movements.

“When we raise enough money we will have to go back for another operation,” she explains.
She says ever since the unfortunate incident, Kayla is vulnerable to infections in that some infections like cough get her admitted into the intensive care unit (ICU).

Lessons
Ruvuza says she has now learnt to be tolerant and is now able to see life from a different perspective.
“I now know what it feels like to raise a special needs child. It calls for alot of patience because you will never know when this child’s condition will improve but you keep praying every single day with hopes of seeing change,” she says.

At a recent conference for parents with disabled children earlier this year, Ruvuza decided to form a Whatsapp group where parents would freely share their children’s conditions and seek for help.

She says connecting with them has been a great way for her to feel less alone and also find solutions to better her child’s condition.
“There are many lessons on the journey of parenting a disabled child, forming this group has helped us connect and support each other as we are pulled together by our similarities,’’ she says.
In addition, Ruvuza says it takes courage for a parent to acknowledge the grief and loneliness of knowing that their child will not be the same again.

Not giving up
On May 19, one year after the incident, Ruvuza posted on her Facebook page that despite having her ill-health, from being blind to having painful physiotherapy sessions daily to being unable to communicate or control movements, there was still hope for Kayla.

“Amidst that (the pain), she still laughs so cheerfully and eats all her food happily. Her smile litteraly melts me. Constantly pushing us to make her stand and sit. Her zeal is amazing,” the mother posted.
In her post, Ruvuza thanked the doctors for saving her life and hoped that her story could inspire other painful journeys never to give up, but also, keep hope alive.