- I'm all for karma attacking people who pee in the lake, but this may have been a bit of an over-reaction...
You may want to hold off swimming in Lake Malawi…
This Is One Reason To Do Research BEFORE You Take Your Vacation In An New Area
32-year-old James Michael contracted Schistomosomiasis (AKA Bilharzia) during a trip with his pals in Southeast Africa. James lives in Kensington, London. He went on what was supposed to be ‘the trip of a lifetime,’ but he wasn’t expecting to come home with a parasite. One that almost killed him.
He Told The Sun : “When I look back at photos from my time in Africa, it’s weird to think that’s where the parasite crawled up my penis. It wasn’t exactly how I imagined the trip of the of a lifetime to go… The whole experience was surreal and strange.” Mr. Micheal and his friends visited Africa in August 2017. They traveled from Zambia to Zimbabwe before visiting in Malawi for five days. The group canoed and swam every day in Lake Malawi, before flying back home. It wasn’t till they got home the nightmare began…
Home Sweet Home
In October of last year, Mr. Michael started to noticed he was losing feeling in his legs, but initially put it down as fatigue. He reported to the hospital when he would get exhausted walking up the small number of stairs to his flat. He was given antibiotics and sent home, however, a week later he felt worse and returned to the hospital. “I explained to them that something serious was going on. I went to the neurology department and they did blood tests to see what was up. They determined quite quickly that my immune system was attacking my spine, leading to the loss of control of my legs. I was put on a six-month course of steroids to counter this… But they didn’t actually know what had caused this.”
The Doctors Found Out Eventually
Doctors from the Hospital for Tropical Diseases was able to tell Mr. Michael that a parasitic worm had crawled up his penis and laid eggs in his body. A week before Christmas he was diagnosed with Schistosomiasis, an infection that’s caused by a parasitic worm that lives in freshwater in tropical regions. Most commonly found in Africa. Once in the body, the worm moves throughout the body to the liver and bowel. After a few weeks, they start laying eggs. The eggs that remain inside the body are attacked by the immune system. Left untreated, it could have catastrophic side effects. Mr. Micheal was given medicine to kill the worm.
He Is Lucky, Really
“That killed the infection but I was left basically debilitated. They told me there was a 30 percent chance I’d make a full recovery – 10 years from now. It was a horrible feeling – I felt completely helpless, and the odds weren’t good. I couldn’t wish what I’ve been through on anybody.” Mr. Micheal spent three months in the hospital using a wheelchair and four months on crutches, until April this year. He had a breakout of extreme acne on his back and arms caused by steroids, as well as diarrhea.
He Is In Extreme Pain
“The pain has been like nothing I’ve ever known. Early in my recovery, sometime in January, I had a really terrible acne outbreak that went all down my back and down my arms. I couldn’t sleep for a month because lying on my back hurt. I couldn’t really be under running water either, so I had to shower my front instead. The loss of feeling and use of my legs affected every part of my life. I wasn’t able to exercise much because of the infection, which was hard. In January, I couldn’t use the toilet normally, so had to use a catheter. That was quite embarrassing for me. This has been horrendous. It’s felt like a never-ending mountain I’ve had to climb.”
James also lost his appetite and told how his girlfriend couldn’t even hug him as it was too painful.