Much has happened yet again-
and the most significant event is the arrival in Mali of Dr. Kwee Yong, hematologist extraordinaire
and Grande Specialiste
of Multiple Myeloma, Keita’s disease, from University College Hospital London.
Last May in London, when I despaired of Keita’s chances of having anything done at all, since all doctors had said he would never walk again; last May when he sat paralyzed in a wheel chair in Bamako, waiting for me to come back with a plan of action; last May when I didn’t even want to go back to Mali; at that terrible time I met Dr. Kwee Yong. This brilliant physician was introduced to me by Vanya, an old friend and a doctor in a senior position in the NHS. Kwee looked at Keita’s CTC scans of his spine and said; “hmm, yes, well it is not looking good. Indeed an operation is probably out of the question. Sorry’. But then she looked again, and said: ‘just wait here a moment, I will pass this by Charlie, a radiologist collegue to see what he says. And she disappeared down the corridor, to return again a quarter of an hour later with the ground breaking news that Charlie had spotted a shadow which they had discussed and which had brought them to the conclusion that Keita would benefit from radio therapy, and that there was a slim possibility that he would regain movement. That today Keita is walking is due to the inspired help first of all of Vanya, leading us on to Kwee and to Charlie.
But the most incomprehensible and wonderful aspect of this story is that Kwee kept in touch with me, a complete stranger, and wanted updates on Keita’s state of health. She followed my blog and saw the pictures in June of Keita”s first steps in Casablanca. Then she decided to visit us in Mali!
I went to meet her and her husband Andy, a prominent London immunologist when they arrived at the airport in Bamako last Saturday. We met Keita’s hematologist Dr. Touré who gave them a visit of Hopital
Point G. We then travelled on to Segou where they met Keita. We had a lovely dinner together at the Hotel Independence , then they joined us for lunch at Keita”s house the following day. (see picture above). Kwee and Andy are now on their way to Timbuktu, travelling on the river Niger in a pinasse.