DESPITE the worsening of his medical condition with each passing day, Mr Givas Karume (57) has not given up on his future.
He urgently needs a thoracic spine decompression and stabilisation with rods and screws surgery, which costs more than what he can afford and time is not on his side.
The surgery costs US$8 600.
It is double tragedy for the Karume family, as Mr Karume’s wife, Mrs Lizzy Karume, a lecturer at Mutare Polytechnic also broke her left leg in two different positions when she was coming back from prayers recently. She also needs to undergo a corrective surgery.
She needs US$1 700 for the surgery.
Despite the gloominess of their situation, Mr Karume holds on to the hope that generous people will help him and he will be able to walk again. He faces every new day with dread, but also with courage and faith.
Mr Karume, a renowned languages teacher at Dope High School in Makoni District, has been reaching out to his former learners and classmates from Mutare Teachers’ College, Class of 1993, asking for any kind of assistance or support.
He hopes that his former contacts and other well-wishers will remember him fondly and help him in his time of needy.
The veteran teacher, who also has an international qualification as an athletics coach, had plans to coach his high school women soccer team to national level after they won the zonal competitions earlier this year.
They were preparing for the district competitions when he faced a serious health challenge. He soldiered on while in pain. However, his condition deteriorated and was diagnosed with thoracic spine injury.
In an emotional interview at his ZIMTA home in Mutare early this week, Mr Karume broke down and cried as he narrated how he ended up being bedridden and dependent on his wife and son.
He still has a cheerful personality, but the former athletic and energetic man who was accustomed to supporting his family now struggles to conceal the agony that clouds his eyes.
“I started experiencing chest pains that spread to my shoulders. They persisted for a while and I consulted different doctors in Mutare and Rusape, but they could not help me. One day, when I was coaching women soccer and tried to kick a penalty kick, I lost my balance and fell on my back. The same thing happened again in another training session and I realised that something was wrong. My legs began to feel numb and I struggled to walk. At school, I pretended to be busy on my phone so that no one would notice my pain. But when I collapsed, I knew I had to take a vacation leave in July, which I did,” he said.
He has not been back to work since then as he has been bedridden and fighting the condition that has turned his life upside down.
“I was later diagnosed with a thoracic spine condition and was unable to get out of bed for the last four months. The doctor said there is a growth just above the breast level to the back of the spine. It has to be decongested urgently. However, we do not have that money. We are relying on well-wishers to raise the money. A Go Fund Me link was created by a United Kingdom-based relative.
“We are reaching out to everyone who can help us because the doctor said if we do not urgently get help, I will end up failing to control my bowels. My spine will also be affected. I am appealing for assistance from well-wishers because we are now stranded. We do not know what to do,” he said.
The once independent, carefree and supportive man now depends on his son and wife for everything. He needs his son, Tinashe to help him with sleeping, bathing, using the toilet and moving around.
Mrs Karume said: “This situation has taken a toll on both of us, emotionally and physically. The medical journey ahead is a challenging one, but we firmly believe that with your support, we can overcome this obstacle. The treatment required is extensive and costly.
“Words cannot express exactly what I am feeling. I am dead inside because of what our family has turned into. Since my husband was terribly ill, I decided to go for prayers up the mountain with my friend and as we were descending, I slipped and broke my left leg on two different positions. It has not healed because they were supposed to conduct an implant surgery on the leg, but we did not have the money. We understand that times are tough for many and it is with a heavy heart that we reach out to well-wishers for help. Your assistance will directly fund the medical procedure and post-operation care required for my husband’s recovery,” she said.
Mrs Karume, who is now back at work is using clutches to walk.
“While I care about my situation, I feel that my husband’s case is urgent and will really appreciate it if he gets the help that he needs with immediate effect because his life is hanging on a thread,” she said.
As the couple is saving money for the surgeries from both their salaries, they are now failing to make ends meet and put food on the table for their family.
“Had she been here, my pre-teen daughter would have told you that we are suffering because she knows best what we are going through as a family. It is very different from what she used to know. At times, we only eat porridge in the morning and wait for dinner in the evening. We have no supplies because we are trying to save all the money for my medical bills. We are sacrificing a lot and it pains that my family has to go through such hardships because of me,” cried the man.
Those willing to assist the Karume family can contact them at +263 773 770124.
Subsequently, well-wishers can also donate to them through their CBZ accounts and Ecocash USD accounts. Ecocash USD +263 773 770 124, Ecocash name- Givas Karume. Bank details- Account Name: Givas Karume; Bank: CBZ; Branch: Mutare Branch; CBZ Nostro Bank Account Number: 63260151450025; CBZ ZWL Bank Account Number: 63260151450015.
Subsequently, well-wishers can also drop monetary or grocery donations at The Manica Post Building.
Well-wishers from across the world can also access the Go-Fund me page created on behalf of Mr Karume and donate at https://gofund.me/d6d58422