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Grannies abandon home to take care of their ailing Egerton University student at hospital

By Mercy Kahenda | Published Tue, April 4th 2017 at 00:00, Updated April 3rd 2017 at 20:53 GMT +3
Michael Giatare and his wife Beatrice Wacera checking on their granddaughter Abigael Wacera

NAKURU: Valley Hospital in Nakuru County has become the new home of Beatrice Wanjira, 67, and her husband Michael Gitare, 70. They left their ancestral home in Huhoine village to nurse their granddaughter, Abigael Muthoni, who has been in hospital for the past two months.

Ms Muthoni, a student at Egerton University, was admitted to the hospital with injuries sustained when she jumped out of a moving vehicle in Nakuru town.

Muthoni, 20, is said to have suffered brain damage that has affected her speech, sight and hearing.

The elderly couple took in the third year Bachelor of Education student and catered for her education after her single mother, Florence Muthoni, died in 2012.

At the hospital, Gitare and Wanjira must keep a constant eye on their granddaughter. They help her walk and sit up; they also feed and bathe her.

“This is my new home because I have to be by Muthoni’s bed to ensure that she does not fall,” said Gitare.

Being in a strange town means the couple is at the mercy of well wishers. They are being housed by a good Samaritan in Bahati, approximately 10km from Nakuru town. They commute daily to the hospital.

Speaking to The Standard, Gitare said his granddaughter was a bright student with a lot of promise.

“I am a sad grandfather to see my granddaughter suffer at a time when she should be in class. Look, she is not able to speak or do anything on her own,” he said as he helped Muthoni to sit up.

He said Muthoni’s health challenges had affected the family’s operations. They have not been able to prepare their quarter of an acre for the planting season.

The family is also unable to raise money for the hospital bill that has reached Sh1,118,930 and counting. Well-wishers have contributed Sh400,000 so far.

Dairy cow

Gitare depends on farming to earn a living. He has one dairy cow that produces eight litres of milk daily in addition to 150 coffee trees. But even these farming activities have been disrupted.

“Every single day, I pray that I would wake up and find my granddaughter walking. It is difficult to have her in the hospital because I do not have money to pay for the services being rendered to her,” he said.

Moses Oketch, a medical doctor and consultant surgeon who received the patient when she was admitted at the private facility, said she was in a full coma when she was brought in.

“We resuscitated her once she came to the hospital and although she still has a long way to go, she has shown some improvement and is on the road to recovery,” he said.

Surprisingly, two months after the student was admitted in hospital, the perpetrator linked to the accident is still at large.

Gitare has accused the police of laxity, saying they need to speed up their investigations.

“The police seem to be dragging their feet when it comes to arresting the suspect despite having crucial leads,” he said.

Nakuru police boss Joshua Omukata however dismissed the accusations that his officers were reluctant to apprehend the suspect.

“The suspect has not been found. We have even travelled to his home in Elburgon where we were told he has not been seen for the last two years. The case is currently being handled by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations,” Omukata said.