Kenya: Boy on road to recovery after grisly crash

Austine Amoyi and his father Anderson Vidali. Amoyi has been in hospital for over four months following a road crash. (PHOTO: JECKONIA OTIENO/ STANDARD)

When you meet seven-year-old Austine Amoyi, the sunken left part of his head might lead you to think he is living with mental disability.

He is bubbly and upbeat despite the fact that he cannot move his right leg or arm, he answers mathematical questions with ease. His speech may be slurred, but he smiles easily.

Amoyi was born normal, like any other child, and had already started schooling when a road crash changed the course of his life.

In preparation for the start of a new school term after the August holidays last year, a speeding motorcycle lost control while negotiating a corner in Majengo Town, Vihiga County, knocking down the boy, who was walking by the roadside. It sent him spinning into the air before landing head-first on a culvert.

His father, Anderson Vidali, who now takes care of him at his sister’s one-room home in Mlolongo Phase Three, Machakos County, says the August 24, 2015, incident broke his family as well. His wife left him and got married to another man when Amoyi was in hospital with their son.

“My son was staying with his aunt in Majengo where he attended school at Navui Primary School. He and three of his cousins were being taken to have a haircut in preparation for school opening,” narrates Vidali.

After the accident, another motorcycle rider picked up Amoyi and rushed him to a nearby dispensary but they could not help as the injury was extensive.

Few options

After first aid, an ambulance rushed the boy to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) in Kisumu.

“JOOTRH referred him to Avenue Hospital for CT scan, after which he was taken back only to be told that the hospital had all the ICU beds occupied; Avenue itself said for him to be admitted, they would need a deposit of Sh350,000,” says Vidali.

Options were running out fast. Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and KNH were the only remaining options. But MTRH had all its ICU beds occupied.

He eventually arrived at KNH after a ten-hour journey in an ambulance arriving on September 5, 2015 and was taken to the ICU directly. He stayed there for four-and-half months.

His bill at the hospital came to Sh2.5 million, of which Vihiga County Government paid Sh200,000, NHIF Sh450,000, a fundraiser managed Sh150,000 while KNH waived part of the bill, leaving a bill of just about  Sh500,000 pending.

With Amoyi out of hospital, it cannot be gainsaid that he is a miracle baby. His second brother was burnt in a house fire, which Amoyi escaped since he could walk.

After a year, another tragedy struck when his one-year-old brother was scalded by hot porridge and died.