Dubai: Del Wuaku, a Dubai-based DJ, has witnessed first-hand the deadly consequences of arthritis as he watched his mother suffer for eight years before she succumbed due to complications from the disease, aged 40.
He told Gulf News that his mother Gloria Akresi would have lived a long, productive life had she to be diagnosed early. Through his personal story he hopes to spread awareness about the importance of diagnosing the condition in the early stages.
Barely out of his teens, Wuaku, the only son, watched the incapacitating illness take over their lives. His mother was in her early 30s when she developed rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but was diagnosed after six years of living with the disease in his native Ghana. By then he said it was too late.
“My mother was a single parent. She was strong and hard working. As the disease took over, I watched her from being active to being unable to even move out of bed. Her joints were swollen and she was in constant pain. It was traumatic to see her suffer,” said Wuaku.
The loss of strength and the chronic pain made physical tasks much more difficult. He said, “She found it harder and harder to move around by herself. So after high school, I took a year off to look after her. I would almost carry her out of bed. She was completely dependent.”
He added that she was on pain killers during the last few years of her life.