Medical bills, compensation cause victims heartaches

On December 25, 2009 at around 8pm, a 14-seater matatu and a lorry were involved in a crash at Ngata Bridge on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway.

The matatu had stopped to drop some passengers when the lorry rammed into it.

Three people, including the driver, died while the rest of the passengers suffered severe injuries.

EDUCATION HALTED
Mrs Mary Kayuko, a nurse counsellor at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital, who was travelling home from work, was among those who suffered serious injuries.

Having fractured both her arms and legs, Mrs Kayuko, a mother of three, was admitted to the Nakuru Level Five Hospital before being moved to a private hospital where she stayed for two more months.

“At that time my first-born child had just joined university,” she recalls.

Her second child had just completed secondary but had to stay home for a year due to the financial challenges that came with the medical costs that the accident imposed on her family.

“My last born had to report to Form One with the help of a friend,” she says.

LOANS
Mrs Kayuko had to stay away from work for two years and moved with the help of a wheelchair, a walking frame, crutches and eventually a walking stick.

“Even though I have a supportive family, the first phase of treatment cost Sh1.5 million. We eventually ran into loans, which we are repaying to date,” she says.

Even though she managed to resume work, she still experiences pains from time to time.

“During the chilly seasons, I suffer severe cold and I have to overdress even when going to work. I also suffer joint pains and backache, especially at night,” she says.

COMPENSATION

Less than a month ago, John Kamau from Silanga village in Ol Kalou division was a healthy and strong man.

Today, however, he is bedridden, writhing in pain as he nurses fractured ribs.

Kamau is lucky to be alive though, having watched three other passengers in the matatu he was travelling in die in a road crash at Tumaini Market on May 9.

The matatu was heading to Ol Kalou from Nakuru, where he had gone on a business trip.

A Land Cruiser collided with their matatu. Kamau found himself at JM Memorial Hospital and now he is not sure when the trips to the hospital will end.

His dilemma now is how to seek compensation from the vehicle’s insurer.

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