The national rugby team player Sylvain Nkurunziza is seeking financial support to enable him undergo medication for a Degenerative Disc Disorder (DDD).
The Silverback forward got the infection after sustaining a back injury in 2011 during the national team’s tour to Hong Kong.
The average cost of treatment for the disorder is about US$14000 (about Rwf9.5m).
The former Remera Buffaloes player was part of the 16-man team which was making its debut in the international annual tournament where they finished third after a 33-7 victory over Australian side, Double Bay in the third-place playoff in the RugbyFest.
Two years down the road, the dreadful injury forced Nkurunziza to prematurely end his playing career after leaving him paralysed.
“My body is so weak to the extent that any kind of illness keeps me down permanently. The left side of my body is paralysed. I used to have a job as a truck driver but because of the injury, I could not continue,” he revealed in an exclusive interview with Times Sport on Wednesday.
He noted, “When I sustained the injury, my medical insurance had expired and I didn’t get any support from either the federation or the Ministry of Sports and Culture yet I could not afford to meet the expenses for proper treatment.”
After six months running up and down, albeit with difficulty, Nkurunziza got some funds to pay for the MRI Scan test which was conducted at King Faisal Hospital in 2011.
In the report by Dr. Emmanuel Rudekemwa, Nkurunziza was diagnosed with disco-degenerative. lumbar disease. However, no fracture or dislocations were identified.
According to Nkurunziza, he was referred to Dr. Keresh of Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya who is an expert in such medical related field.
But ever since then, the 30-year-old has failed to get the required funds to enable him get his normal life back on track and play the sport he loves so much as well sustaining his family’s livelihood.
“I have tried but failed to get any support from the people that I thought would come to my rescue, that is the rugby federation and the ministry of sports. I am surviving on kinetherapy since until I get funds to go for proper medication,” he explained.
His worst fear is that he could lose his sight as a result of the disorder that he says has started to affect his brain, “I can’t concentrate like a normal human being and I don’t know how I will live but I will leave the rest in God’s hands.”
Nkurunziza is appealing to local sports fraternity, most especially rugby fans and any well wisher to support him in his fight to get back his normal.
Nkurunziza says he experiences persistent lower back pain which radiates to the hips, pain in the buttocks or thighs while walking; sporadic tingling or weakness through the knees, hands, and fingers. He feels similar pain while sitting, bending, lifting, and twisting.
Often, degenerative disc disease can be successfully treated without surgery.
One or a combination of treatments such as physical therapy, chiropractic manipulative therapy (CMT) and other chiropractic treatments, osteopathic manipulation, anti-inflammatory medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, traction, or spinal injections often provide adequate relief of troubling symptoms.
Surgery may be recommended if the conservative treatment options do not provide relief within two to three months.
If leg or back pain limits normal activity, if there is weakness or numbness in the legs, if it is difficult to walk or stand, or if medication or physical therapy is ineffective, surgery may be necessary, most often spinal fusion.