From sounds to silence and back again

EASTERN PROVINCE BUGESERA—On a late August evening, Fred Rwigyema, or Rafiki, as his friends call him, mysteriously stopped speaking. For almost a month, no one, including the doctors at Ruhengeri and Bugesera hospitals, could figure out exactly what was wrong, or how to cure the boy.

EASTERN PROVINCE

BUGESERA—On a late August evening, Fred Rwigyema, or Rafiki, as his friends call him, mysteriously stopped speaking.
For almost a month, no one, including the doctors at Ruhengeri and Bugesera hospitals, could figure out exactly what was wrong, or how to cure the boy.

But this past Sunday, things suddenly changed for Rafiki. In an immediate interview with media, an excited Rwigyema was speaking again, explaining gratefulness for the seeming miracle. “Man, I can talk again.”

Many close friends had allege that an evil wisher might have applied witchcraft to the young man. He himself had indicated that he could not explain the circumstances under which he failed to speak.

Both Dr. Rachna Pande of Ruhengeri hospital and Dr. Dariya Mukamusoni of Bugesera hospital attribute the phenomenon as a “vascular episode in the brain akin to stroke.”

In an email to The New Times on Monday, Dr. Pande added that while rare, the episode is not surprising for youth.

“In young adults, this scenario happens because of rupture of some congenital vascular malformation in the brain,” she said in email.

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