James Michael, 32, contracted schistosomiasis – also referred to as bilharzia – throughout his dream Africa journey.
James, who lives in Kensington in London, stated: “After I look again at photographs from my time in Africa, it is bizarre to assume that is the place the parasite crawled up my penis.
“It wasn’t precisely how I imagined the journey of a lifetime to go…the entire expertise was surreal and unusual.”
The 32-year-old had visited Africa with three mates in August 2017. They traveled from Zambia to Zimbabwe earlier than visiting Malawi for 5 days.
The group swam and canoed on daily basis on Lake Malawi, earlier than flying again to the UK.
It was again in England that James’ nightmare started.
In October final 12 months, he began to note a lack of feeling in each his legs – however initially put that right down to fatigue from biking.
However he checked himself into hospital when primary duties like climbing the steps to his flat turned exhausting.
James was given antibiotics and despatched dwelling however, every week later, he felt even worse and so returned to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
“I explained to them that something serious was going on”
He stated: “I defined to them that one thing critical was occurring.
“I went to the neurology division they usually did blood checks to see what was up. They decided fairly shortly that my immune system was attacking my backbone, resulting in the lack of management 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.”
Docs from the Hospital for Tropical Illnesses finally informed James a parasitic worm had crawled up his penis and laid eggs in his physique.
Every week earlier than Christmas he was identified with schistosomiasis, an an infection that is brought on by a parasitic worm that lives in recent water in tropical areas. It is mostly discovered all through Africa.
As soon as within the physique, the worms transfer by the blood to areas such because the liver and bowel. After a number of weeks, they begin to lay eggs.
Some eggs stay contained in the physique and are attacked by the immune system. If it is left untreated it may have extreme penalties.
James was prescribed a drugs referred to as praziquantel that kills the worms.
He stated: “That killed the an infection however I used to be left principally debilitated. They informed me there was a 30 p.c likelihood I would make a full restoration – 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.”
James spent a complete of three months within the hospital utilizing a wheelchair after which 4 months on crutches – till April this 12 months.
He additionally had a breakout of utmost zits on his again and arms brought on by steroids, in addition to diarrhea.
He stated: “The ache has been like nothing I’ve ever recognized.
“Early in my restoration, someday in January, I had a very horrible zits outbreak that went all down my again and down my arms.
“I could not sleep for a month as a result of mendacity on my again harm. I could not actually be underneath operating water both, so I needed to bathe my entrance as an alternative.
“The lack of feeling and use of my legs affected each a part of my life. I wasn’t capable of train a lot due to the an infection, which was laborious.
This story was initially revealed by The Sun.