18 July 2017
A man with a mystery medical condition that caused his genitals to swell to ten times the average size has had reconstructive surgery – thanks to a Facebook post.
Forence Owiti Opiyo, from Kibigori, Kenya, first noticed a cyst on his genitals in 2006 when he was just 10 years old.
An initial procedure removed the growth in 2007 but the problem re-emerged years later.
Overtime, the cyst grew so big that Forence struggled to walk.
The 21-year-old said: “This thing started very small, like a boil. Then it was the size of my fist. It just continued to grow bigger and bigger.
“It was operated on and they removed it. They did some tests and found out it had not been fully removed but I could not come back due to the post-election violence and I stayed home.
“I finished my medicine but it continued to grow. I was supposed to come for a second operation but we couldn’t raise the money we needed.”
Forence eventually had to drop out of school because his testicles grew so large that he could no longer wear clothes or walk easily.
Classmates teased him and, unable to afford any more surgery, Forence began spending more time at the home he shared with his brother Eliza and elderly grandmother. His parents died when he was five.
He began to mend shoes in an attempt to save money but his goal of being able to pay for surgery was still a long way out of reach.
Eliza said: “I am the one taking care of things now. It is not easy, it is very hard.
“Sometimes I do farming or cut sugarcane and sometimes I grow tomatoes.
“Forence’s problem is with the penis and scrotum.
“The disease started in 2006 but when it came people thought it was a spirit but it is not a spirit.
“Forence’s life is not good because he doesn’t have friends who come to visit him.’
Neighbour, Duncan Otieno, took some shocking photographs of Forence’s deformed member and posted them on Facebook with a plea for help.
“I took his photos and posted it on my Facebook and shared it all over the internet.
“After three days, we got a call from Our Lady of Mercy Ranguma and an ambulance picked him up from the village.
“Forence is a polite man. He is a man of few words, he doesn’t talk much or disturb anyone. I believed he could be healed.”
After being examined, surgeons at the hospital scheduled two operations; the first to debulk the penis and get rid of the excess mass and the second to reconstruct the penis and fashion it into a more usual shape and size.
Thankfully for Forence, the surgery was a success.
Dr. James Obondi, Consulting Surgeon, said: “We spared the nerves, we spared the circulation and we brought the shaft to its rightful size.
“I believe Forence is going to enjoy his life like any other normal human being.
“In three months he will be just normal in his functions and be able to do everything he wants to do.”
Doctors believe that Forence will be able to go on and have a normal sex life and even be able to have children, something he longs to do.
He said: “I would really love to have children one day, that is what I desire.
“I would like to give thanks to God for healing me.”
Jane Tombe, a surgical nurse that assisted during the operation and healing process was struck by Forence’s optimism and positivity throughout his whole ordeal.
She said: “I haven’t seen anything like that before.
“But Forence is outgoing. A very jovial boy who is very positive in life.
“His daily life must have been so challenging before his operation but there was so much hope in him.
“He is going to progress well.
“You know when you see a patient progress very well in my profession; I get very happy and am happy for Forence. I think God loves him so much and he will do well in life.”