Tungo Chetalam at Kapsowar Mission Hospital last week. [Photo: Peter Ochieng, Standard]
There was joy and jubilation in Chepkesii village when a woman who had been hospitalised with a bullet wound sustained in a bandit attack was discharged.
The woman left hospital when Baringo Senator Gideon Moi paid her hospital bill.
Tungo Chetalam, 70, was shot by armed cattle rustlers in the volatile Kerio Valley as she went about her business on February 22.
One person was killed on the spot while she sustained a bullet injury that saw her admitted at Kapsowar Mission Hospital in Elgeyo Marakwet County for more than a month.
The bullet went through her left shoulder and came out through her upper back as she fell on top of her dead friend’s body.
“When she was shot, she fell on top of her friend who had unfortunately been shot dead. Ms Chetalam was bleeding profusely and the rustlers thought she was dead. But when the police arrived to pick the bodies, she asked for water and they were shocked that she was still alive,” narrated James Cherop, a relative.
Chetalam was rushed to Bartabwa Dispensary for first aid before she was transferred to Kabarnet. But by then, doctors countrywide were on strike and she could not be attended to.
The next day, the county government rushed her to the hospital in Kapsowar where she was treated.
“She got to the hospital the next day and her case was treated as an emergency. She had lost a lot of blood and was unstable,” said Catherine Bowen, the nurse at Kapsowar Misson Hospital.
Ms Bowen said Chetalam responded well to medication and by early March, she was ready for discharge. However, her hospital bill had accumulated to Sh66,620.
Her family had fled their home following the attack and was by then living in a camp for internally displaced persons. All their livestock had been driven away by the rustlers, leaving no way for them to settle the bill.
“Today, we were shocked but happy when the hospital cashier called and said the bill, which had accumulated to over Sh80,000, had been cleared by the senator,” said Mr Cherop when The Standard met the family on Friday afternoon.