“Help Me” Body-builder develops swollen and heavy muscles

Former body-builder Ronny Rono at their Kericho home. He is appealing for well-wishers to help him undergo surgery to correct his body. [Nikko Tanui, Standard]

A former body-building enthusiast requires life-saving surgery after developing strange swelling in his arms and torso in what is suspected to be Synthol injection.

It is working hours but 30-years-old Ronny Rono, lies almost motionless in his bed at his aunt’s house located on the outskirts of Kericho town.

Since June 2016, the orphan from Bureti constituency has been relying on his aunt and cousins to feed, bathe and even clothe him since he developed muscular atrophy and biceps pectoral muscles due to a suspected case of Synthol injection.

“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.

He added that in April 2017, a year after his right hand began swelling, the condition spread to the left hand.

“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,” said Rono.

At this point, Rono, takes off his shirt, to reveal a disfigured upper torso. His chest and underarms are swollen. There is hardly any muscle in his right hand but skin and borne.

The skin in his upper abdomen and around the eye sockets is dry and cracking, petroleum jelly has to be constantly applied to oil and sooth it.

“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 said.

Besides rendering Rono’s arms almost numb and stiff, he experiences difficulty in breathing. An MRI chest analysis conducted by Dr. W. Otieno, a radiologist at Lakeside MRI indicated the Rono’s pectoris muscles are grossly enlarged and show heterogeneous contrast.

“Foci of fat infiltration are evident within the hypertrophied muscles,” reads part of the medical examination.

Dr Philemon Letting of Kericho Fig Tree hospital gives a clue that Rono’s condition is a suspected case of Synthol injection.

Rono, nonetheless denied that he had such an injection during his bodybuilding days at a gym 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 yesterday.

With Rono’s deteriorated health and loss of livelihood, his wife abandoned him taking with her the couple’s 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.

Hilda Chepkemoi, a cousin to the former body-builder and his constant companion to health facilities said at least Sh3 million is required to restore Rono’s shape through plastic and reconstructive surgery.

“We have since spent all the money we had going from one hospital to another,” she said.

“I pray that I will get healed. Go back to work and be in a position to win back my family. I really miss my daughter,” said Rono.

Well-wishers can come to Rono’s aid by channeling their contribution to Paybill no 763424 Kenyan Only