A 30-year-old Kenyan man who developed abnormal swelling in his arms and chest after getting what is suspected to be a Synthol injection has passed away.
Ronny Rono, a former bodybuilding enthusiast, died on Tuesday after he was rushed to Siloam Hospital in Kericho, according to The Standard. His family said he died after developing a myriad of health complications.
"He was admitted at Green View hospital for two weeks before being discharged. Until his demise, he was in an out of various hospitals for medical tests and was also being attended by a private doctor within Kericho town," family spokesperson Hilda Chepkemoi said.
Rono's aunt Mary Mabeche, a former Kericho nominated MCA, said they are saddened by his death as they had high hopes that he would get well.
During an interview in August this year, Rono pleaded with well-wishers to help him raise Sh3 million that was required to get a life-saving operation. The painful swelling had left him incapable to feed himself, bathe and even wear clothes since mid-2016.
"The condition began with a small swelling in my right arm and when I went to a private hospital in Kericho town, I was just given painkillers and informed that I required surgery to remove the tumor," said Rono during the interview.
The swelling began in his right hand before spreading to the left hand in April 2017 and torso in the following months. "Ironically, I couldn't feel much pain but it reached an alarming level last year when the swelling reached my chest. I underwent biopsy at the Kericho county hospital but the doctors couldn’t determine what I am suffering from and yet the swelling and the numbness persisted and is now spreading to my neck," Rono told The Standard.
"The condition makes me feel like I am carrying a lot of weight which my backbone cannot support and that is why I am always feeling fatigued, I have to lie in bed," he added.
His arms had become numb and constantly experienced breathing difficulties among other problems. An MRI chest analysis conducted by Dr. W. Otieno, a radiologist at Lakeside MRI stated: “Foci of fat infiltration are evident within the hypertrophied muscles.”
Dr. Philemon Letting of Kericho Fig Tree Hospital said Rono's condition was a suspected case of Synthol injection. Rono, however, denied ever getting such an injection during his bodybuilding days at a fitness center in Nairobi.
"I don't have any recollection of receiving the Synthol injection. I was nonetheless drunk most of the time during my bodybuilding days and I don't have a memory of everything I might have done," he said.
The condition forced him to quit his job at Elimu Sacco before his wife abandoned him, taking with her their five-year-old daughter.
"After I suffered the health complications, I had no option but to quit my job last year at Elimu Sacco where I worked as a junior employee at the registry. This means I couldn't afford to fend for my family and my wife abandoned me," he said.