Normal again after testicle hell

By Drum Digital
03 November 2010

IT’S EVERY boy’s worst nightmare – a problem with his manhood that left him so embarrassed he couldn’t face his friends and also in so much pain he couldn’t go to school.

And making matters even worse was the struggle to get proper medical help – in eight months he’d been turned away from hospitals eight times.

When David Khoza and his mother, Joyce, were refused treatment the last time, everything just became too much. Both of them broke down and wept all the way home – David because it seemed he was doomed to live in pain and discomfort, and Joyce because she felt so helpless and frustrated.

But a month later things were looking up – thanks to President Jacob Zuma’s office and the clout of Joyce’s employers.

David (14), suffered from a retracted testicle and needed corrective surgery urgently to end his pain and cancel out the chance of him being left sterile. A retracted testicle occurs in older boys when a properly descended testicle suddenly ascends – in other words, moves out of the scrotum into the lower abdomen.

In most boys, testicles descend into the scrotum before birth. Three to four per cent of boys are born with undescended testicles but the condition usually corrects itself before the child is a year old. If it doesn’t, he may require surgery – the same kind of surgery David so urgently needed.

Joyce, a domestic worker from Pretoria North, was beside herself with worry for her child. After the eight visits to a hospital, where they were told the operation David needed had been cancelled, she tearfully told her employer the whole sorry tale.

And with the employer’s help, some presidential office intervention and the persistence of her employers, things finally started to happen...

DAVID is small for his age and a lot shyer and more introverted than many teenagers – although after the year he’s had that’s understandable.

His troubles started in February, when Joyce learnt her son’s left testicle had moved up out of his scrotal sac. At the time David was living in KwaMhlanga outside Pretoria with her sister, who called to say he was sick. “My sister told me David was in a lot of pain,” Joyce explains. “His penis was swollen and they didn’t know what to do. I asked them to take him to the clinic.”

A few weeks later Joyce went to visit her child. “I could see one of his testicles had disappeared. It had moved into his abdomen, above his left leg, and it was causing pain in his leg.”

Read the full article in drum of 11 November 2010

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