Phylis Ouko: Mother who stood sounds of guns and chaos to reunite with child

The pain of child is only well known to the mother, goes the adage. The say that has been a cliché came to life when Phylis Ouko braved the sounds of gunshots to keep vigil just to wait for her daughter who was trapped at dusitD2 Hotel, when terrorists struck in Nairobi on Tuesday, January 15.

As security officers were battling attackers in the building, survivors being evacuated and sirens of ambulance reigning the vicinity as some being were taken to hospitals; one terror victim puzzled many.

Coiled in her wheel chair and dressed in her red full dress, Phylis Ouko adamantly refused to leave the dusit complex area. Though she is living with disability and could not flee any possible danger, her only plea was to know the whereabouts of her daughter, Susan Njeri.

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 Her heart sunk at every bit of gunshot as light showers pounded her. Hunger had struck her for hours but she was undeterred. She says that they worked opposite sides in the complex.

Onlookers and rescuers could only offer eyes of sympathy as Ouko’s antics kept them from whisking her away from the scene.  

Attempts by the medical team from the hospitals to rush her for check-up ended fruitless as she remained defiant, hoping to unite with her child.

She was granted her wish though it was perhaps a dangerous undertaking. According to Ouko, she talked to her daughter immediately the blast and gunshots started.

“She called me immediately the attack started, and later when I called, she could not talk,” Ouko said.

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She stayed at the complex for hours till darkness set in. After the long agonizing wait-herprayers were answered.  Susan Njeri emerged and pounced on her where she sat on the wheel chair. Her resilience paid. They cried, hugged, most definitely thanking God for saving them from ordeal. Njeri is still under psychological help just to help her erase the cruel memories of death, that nipped 21 lives.

Phylis OukodusitD2 HotelAl-Shabaab terror attackSusan Njeri