A thunderous applause went through the conference room of the Hotel as Dr. Augustine walked back to his seat. If only they knew what was happening to him, he thought, they would clap even harder.
Mr Augustine did not know how he managed to receive the award for Top 40 under 40. He was in excruciating pain, his stomach was boiling with acidity, that he could barely hold a smile on his face. This was the fifth time in a month this had happened.
Raised from a poor farming family at the outskirts of Nairobi, he was determined to make sure his children would not suffer like he did. He would walk for an hour to and from school, while in primary, and rarely did he have breakfast. He had always been grateful for lunchtime meal of maize and beans that he ate in school every day.
After secondary and tertiary education came the real battle called life. Augustine was however astute, smart and resilient. He was one never to give up.
With some money he borrowed from friends he started a small scale microfinance company. He worked hard, day and night and sometimes worked overnight in his office.
Ten years had passed and his company Higher Heights Ltd. had been listed in the Forbes magazine as one to watch out for.
His success came with a slight price to pay. All the late-night meetings with partners, coupled with having to be up early, travelling endlessly from one end of the country to the other and making deals happen.
Attending all sorts of workshops to make sure his company was not left out in potential projects. Forgetting to eat due to his work schedule was the norm.
All these had taken a toll on his health, gradually over the years. He had developed a duodenal ulcer which caused him to have very excruciating stomach pains.
Causes of peptic ulcers
The stress of work and not eating at the right time was the probable risk factor that had led to his current predicament, his private physician explained to him.
However other factors that increase the risk of peptic ulcers include smoking, H-Pylori infection, and consuming corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.