Teen in relentless pain after discovery of rare bone disease

By Songeziwe Mapukata

A life-saving Covid-19 jab has revealed that 14-year-old Yamkela Seplane has a rare bone disease.

The young teenager now feels like a prisoner in her own home as she has been forced to drop out of school.

After 12 months of treatment by doctors, experts believe Yamkela had a pre-existing cancer in her bones which is associated with underdevelopment of the bones.

Her ordeal started on 25 November 2021 when the Department of Health visited her school in Shawbury High School in Qumbu in the Eastern Cape and vaccinated learners.

That afternoon her arm started swelling.

Her aunt Nombuyekezo Seplane told Scrolla.Africa that Yamkela suffers from a relentless pain that has resulted in her now accepting the possibility that the arm may be amputated.

“She says she wants to give up the arm so that she can go back to school next year,” said Nombuyekezo.

Doctors at Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha have scheduled her for amputation later this month.

But a team of doctors in the Oncology Unit at St Frere Hospital in East London have put her on chemotherapy in the hope of fighting cancerous cells.

Petros Majola, a children’s rights activist from the Khula Community Project who is now the family spokesperson on this issue said: “The doctors do not associate the swelling directly with the vaccine as based on their experience, there has never been such a case worldwide whereby someone was vaccinated then got this reaction”.

Nombuyekezo says her niece now struggles to wear her favourite dresses and has to opt for vest-like clothing items.

“Even for us as a family it is not a pleasant or bearable experience because of the responsibility it comes with. We have not received any form of counselling to help prepare us for what awaits us (Yamkela’s amputation).”

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases says adverse reactions to vaccinations are very rare and they should be reported especially when they result in hospitalisation.

Pictured above: Yamkela Seplane’s swollen arm

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