The family of a Form 4 student at Nyabururu Girls National School is in quandary after their first born daughter got grounded due to serious and mysterious hearing and walking illness.
Deborah Kemunto’s parents; Andrew Seth Mosiria, a lab technician at Egetonto Dispensary, and Everline Okenyuri, a house wife, from Nyabinyinyi village, Magenche Location, Kenyenya Sub-county in Kisii County, are left with no option but to helplessly watch their bedridden daughter, gnashing teeth because of the affliction she is going through. Deborah can neither hear nor walk; a baffling health condition that has left her totally dependent.
They carry her in and out of the house and dress her diapers for long and short core because she cannot move by herself.
Her grandmother, Monica Nyatichi Mosiria, who stays with her, says they have improvised a mobile toilet, seat like, that she sometimes uses to respond to a call of nature.
“My granddaughter is totally dependent. We carry her from my bedroom to sitting room and outside in the morning and then back in the evening because she cannot support herself. It’s really hurting and disturbing. She rarely sleeps because of the pain she goes through. I equally don’t sleep,” the distressed Nyatichi said.
Her health was in perfect condition until late 2013, her mother recalls, when she started complaining of hearing problems. She was a class eight candidate then at Nyambunwa Academy in Kisii South Sub-county. Her condition did not deter her from excelling academically; she scored 347 out of 500 marks that enabled her to join Nyabururu Girls High School. Her health condition worsened early 2014 after joining Form one.
Her mother, 36, told Scholarmedia she took Deborah to Kenyenya Sub-county Hospital where she was given drugs but the problem was never contained.
“The problem persisted that prompted us to take her to Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital for further examination and treatment. She was given drugs too. A friend advised us to take her to Dr. Geoffrey Otomu, an Audiologist, who carried out examination and tests and told us she was suffering from low hearing. She could not hear unless you spoke loudly.
He referred us to Dr. Benson Ototo of Beam Hearing Center in Nairobi. Dr. Ototo recommended Hearing Aid machines to help restore her hearing. We bought the machines that supported her for like one and half years before the problem resurfaced late 2015, we tried to recharge the machines as Dr. Ototo advised in futile. She lost her hearing 100 per cent. She was in Form 2 at that time,” her mother, who is also suffering from Rheumatic Heart Disease, narrated amid tears.
A 2015 referral report from Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) states that Everline Okenyuri was supposed to go for an operation and replacement of valves in India but due to financial constraints and her daughter’s condition, she has since shelved her problem to attend to her daughter case first. She does light jobs only.
She added: “We got another friend who linked us to a Doctor at Tenwek Mission Hospital who also told us the patient required Hearing Aid so as to support her hearing. He did syringing and washed her ears, and told me to be taking her to Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) for check up. That was April last year.
We bought other Hearing Aid machines but they were not working. The problem was totally resistance. So far we had spent more than Sh. 150, 000 for the Hearing Aid machines only with little help. We have also lost sums of money to fraudsters who come in the name of helping us with better machines.”
Okenyuri says they have been drained off few resources they had and they are left in the wilderness not knowing what to do next as the health of their daughter keep deteriorating each day passing.
During this time, Deborah relied on her classmates and teachers for notes because she could not hear completely. However, she can speak fluent English, Kiswahili and Ekegusii, her local dialect, upon guidance through signs or writing down whatever one wants her to communicate on.
As if the family’s double misfortune is not enough, the 17 year old started developing legs problems in July 2016 while she was in Form 3.
Her mother can remember her first born child in a family of four coming home for a half term staggering; she had lost her balance. One could mistaken she was drunk.
“My daughter came home for last year’s second term a half term with an extra health problem. She was staggering. She complained of weak legs. She went back to school thinking it was a minor problem and hoped she would get back to normal.
They closed school for August holiday and I realised the problem persisted, I took her to KTRH where CT scan tests were done but there was no neurosurgeon to read the results. We were referred to either Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital of KNH. We chose MTRH after conducting a fundraising on September 1, 2016.”
She continued: “My daughter was admitted for three days and discharged without any test or treatment. We were told to go back after two weeks. We went back later that month whereby she was admitted for two weeks. An MRI test showed she had tumors in both of her ears. I was told to look for an ICU bed outside MTRH because their facility’s ICU was full.
We found the ICU services at Fountain Hospital in Eldoret where she was admitted for two days after she underwent a successful operation on the right ear at MTRH. We coughed Sh. 100, 000 for the ICU bed per day. We went back to MTRH where she was re-admitted for one week before she was discharged. We borrowed Sh. 100, 000 that enabled us clear the hospital bill.
The doctor told us to go back on December 21, 2016 for check up and see if they could carry out operation on the left ear but due to Doctors’ strike that had started we didn’t go back to MTRH. We took her to Nairobi Accident Hospital on February this year (2017). Dr. Mayor referred her to India’s Artens Hospital for Meningioma.”
Deborah, a Form 4 candidate, hopes her health would be back to normal by October this year when she is slated to sit for her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams. She was promoted to Form 4 using Form 3’s Second term exam results. Despite her health condition, Deborah scored B- in her exams. She has not attended any single class since then.
“My health condition has cost me a lot academically and socially. I am now forced to revise for the five months away KCSE exams from home. Am determined and hope I will get well and sit for the exams. I know I will pass in Jesus name despite that I have not attended well classes for better part of my secondary education.
I want to be an audiologist so that I can help address issues related to my health condition,” the composed and optimistic Deborah told this writer when he visited her Nyabinyinyi home.
Her uncle, Gwaro Mosiria, expresses the agony the ailing child has caused the family saying she is a bright girl the family was looking up upon.
“My daughter is very bright but her sickness has really affected her academics. She is the family’s investment and hope. We have moved her from one hospital to another but her health condition is still in limbo. We have spent over Sh. 500, 000 but we have not seen any improvement. We are left with no coin but we are preparing to take her to India for further examination and treatment. We hope God will get our way and see her through successfully.”
The family is appealing for financial support from well wishers to enable them fly their kin to India later this month for specialized treatment. They are sourcing for Ksh. 1.5 million.
+254 710332285 [Everline Nyangau-Mother]
+254 717428090 [Gwaro Mosiria-Uncle]
Pay bill number-222911 and Account Number is DEBORAH#
and those in the USA:
SquareCash +1 612-237-6716 [Gideon Nyakora]