Patrick Vunganayi

The pain has disappeared, I am a happy man

My name is Patrick Vunganayi, Contact Details 0772520572, Residential Address Stand No. 3865, Rockview Park, Harare.  I am a born again Christian of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe.  I am 55 years old, married with three children – two girls and one boy. 

I started experiencing pain on my left shoulder in 2015 when I was working in South Africa as a truck driver transporting Eskom coal to Power Stations. I was advised at most health centres that I visited to use pain stop tablets and gradually the pain would go down, that was about three (3) years ago.

In December 2016, I came back home (Zimbabwe) to seek medical help since I was on medical aid.  I thought that it would be cheaper and that my family would from time to time be able to monitor my movements and treatment.   The pain resurfaced again in January 2017 to be precise, this time sleeping during the night became a nightmare.  I would experience severe pain and sleeping was difficult, an in the morning the pain would have disappeared.

I went to Rowland CIMAS Clinic for medical treatment and was advised that my problem would only be identified and rectified by a Specialist and not by a general practitioner. This really troubled me since the pain was so severe during the night.  I wondered who the Specialist would be and what was the problem on my left shoulder.   I was referred to Dr V Mandizvidza a Spine Specialist.  I visited his rooms No. 5 Natal Road, Belgravia and was given an appointment. 

On the day of the appointment, I met Dr Mandizvidza who explained everything to me including the functions of the spinal cord and pointed out that I could be having a small problem that would need to be corrected.  In order to ascertain the exact problem, X-rays were done, and when the results were read, I was informed that the problem was on C5/C6, and an operation was the best course of action to be taken. This did not go down well with me because relatives, friends and workmates had said it would be better to mobilise funds and go for the operation in India and not in Zimbabwe.  They were very doubtful about the local doctor(s).  They said in Zimbabwe there were no doctors who were Specialists in Spine and if the operation was not done successfully, I would end up paralysed and not be able to walk again. Dr Mandizvidza informed me that it was my decision to give consent for the operation and he does not force patients, but when the pain is so severe and unbearable one would decide otherwise.   

In August 2017, truly, I experienced severe pain and returned to Dr Mandizvidza, but upon discussing with him on the pros and cons of the operation, I retreated the idea of being operated and informed him that I was not yet ready.  He prescribed some tablets for pain management, but in the end, the pain was not disappearing.

In March 2018, I had to return to Dr Mandizvidza now feeling any urge to be operated, because the pain was now unbearable only to realise he was out of the country.   I waited for him and when he came back, I made an appointment to see him. We had another discussion and informed him that I was now ready.  The necessary paperwork for the payments were processed and the shortfalls were paid and submitted the proof of payments and waited to be informed when I will be admitted for the operation.  

On 25 July 2018, I received a telephone call from Dr Mandizvidza’s rooms advising me that I should report at the Avenues Clinic for admission on 26 July 2018 in the afternoon. At the Avenues Clinic was welcomed by a group of nurses so jubilant that I thought aahh this is what I was looking for.  I started to gain confidence in Dr Mandizvidza and making prayers right through the night before the operation.   I met Dr Mandizvidza and Dr Nyoni (Anaesthetist) a day before the operation and realised they were a cheerful and friendly team and would like to commend them both as this made me more confident and ready for the operation.

On the day of the operation (27 July 2018), I was taken to Theatre and met Dr Mandizvidza and Dr Nyoni and they were still in a very jovial mood as the previous day.  We were having a conversation with them and the next thing only waking up after more than 5 hours.   When I woke up, I was still confused and thought the operation had not been done only to realise that I had seen both the two doctors earlier on.  I closed my eyes because I was feeling dizzy, when I woke up again, this time I was conscious  of what was happening and I felt  a very soft smell on my nose and upon turning my head I saw a cable coming from the throat  and another one on my right hand.  I knew the operation had been done.  I felt God’s hand.  That night I slept like a baby on a mother’s lap and only to wake up after midnight when I was feeling pain all over my body.  I called the sister on duty and she attended to me with an injection,.   The next morning I was smiling that am alive and the pain was no more as I had been used to the severe pain.  In three days’ time after the operation, the pain was no longer severe.

I was transferred from the High Dependence Unit (HDU) to one of the wards, where I spent a week.  Dr Mandizvidza came and asked me if I was ready to be discharged. I told him I was not ready but advised him to book me out the following day since I was still experiencing some little pain on the operation.  I was discharged from the hospital the next day and went home.  Thereafter, I never had problems at all, save for the neck collar which was becoming heavier when I wore it and some difficulty in eating solid foods for almost a week.  I went for my first review, second week after the operation; where upon Dr Mandzizvidza examined the wound and changed the bandage and informed me that everything was healing well.

After another three weeks, I went back for check up and I must be honest, everything was okay and commenced physiotherapy after a month.  As of today, as I speak, I am very grateful to God and Dr Mandizvidza for a successful operation.  The pain has disappeared – am a happy man - no pain no gain. 


Truly, Dr Mandizvidza is an expert Specialist in his field.