Banimoli: Take benza injections

Rusila Banimoli. Picture: SUPPLIED

SOMETIMES people think they are living a healthy and active life and therefore they don’t take hospital check-ups seriously.

This was the case with Rusila Banimoli who was diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease in 2009 but still lives an active life, taking part in sports and office functions.

“I was very vigilant with my benzathine injections —’benza’ — only in my first year since being diagnosed in 2009. I made sure I took my benza. “I thought I was well because I was feeling well. I attended sports events and office functions,” shared Ms Banimoli.

Four years after being diagnosed in 2009, when her heart valves were significantly damaged from repeated and untreated episodes of rheumatic fever, the 42-year-old underwent a mitral valve replacement surgery.

Later, she regrettably stopped taking her benza injections in 2010 and she began to lose weight and experience shortness of breath.

“I could not even climb stairs and walk for long. I fainted a few times and would have to get someone to accompany me in case I fainted in town,” said Ms Banimoli.

Following the advice of a nurse who used to take care of her, Ms Banimoli finally agreed to make an appointment and travelled to Lautoka to be assessed by a visiting team of surgeons.

“I just remember seeing the operating table and the next thing, I woke up to see my niece at the foot of my bed. There was a bandage going down the middle of my chest and it felt heavy. “My son always reminds me and asks if I’ve taken my medication.”

Ms Banimoli said support from her family and workplace had been so great.

“I would still like to pursue my dream of getting a degree in accounting. Nothing is impossible,” Ms Banimoli added.

For people living with rheumatic heart disease, Ms Banimoli advises them to take their benza injections to avoid complications.

She says people need to listen to medical advice and go for the injections.

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