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Daughter: We carried tea and bread for my mom after scan, but she never made it

By Kevin Ogutu | August 6th 2021

Lavender Allivister had packed bread so that her mother would find something to eat after the MRI scan.

When Caroline Mwenesi, a nurse at Aga Khan Hospital in Kisumu, asked her daughter Lavender Allivister to accompany her to the hospital for a check-up, she was stunned. How could her mother, who was in good health, go for a medical check-up?

But Lavender, 28, did not turn down the request of her 53-year-old mother. Caroline had been an employee at the facility for more than two decades, so she clearly knew better, Lavender thought. And to calm her fears, Mwenesi told her daughter that it was a request from the hospital management.

She had prepared tea for her mother and packed some slices of bread so that she would find something to eat after the MRI scan. At the hospital, the staff first carried out an electrocardiogram (ECG) test, a simple test to check the heart’s rhythm and electrical activity.

The next activity was for the doctors to conduct an MRI test, which the daughter says her mother was opposed to. “She told one of the doctors that her oxygen levels would normally drop, but the doctor assured her that all will be well,” says Lavender.

Lavender says her mother was also worried about lying flat in the MRI machine and the time she would spend there. “She was asked about her medical history. And after that, she was given a form which she signed,” she says.

Her mother was then sedated and placed in the MRI machine, where she was to stay for 40 minutes. Unfortunately, this was not going to be the case. As her daughter waited, the doctor came to the room panicking and asked the attendant to reverse the MRI. That is where the journey of losing a mother started. “Her body was cold when she was brought out of the machine. The doctor said that she had a breathing problem and immediately called the emergency team,” says Lavender.

The team tried to resuscitate her but in vain. After some time, she was taken to ICU. At the ICU, pipes were inserted into Mwenesi’s mouth and nose. Her face appeared to have swollen.

By 6pm, Florence and her niece left the ICU for home. They were assured by the medical staff that Caroline would be fine.

At night, the family was told that Caroline had become a bit restless and was sedated. Then the following day in the morning she was again sedated. 

According to Florence, her sister’s problems at the facility started two years ago after she was involved in an accident that damaged her hip bone and spine. She was confined to crutches.

“She would always tell me that an official of the hospital was never pleased with her condition. This forced the hospital management to change her roles from critical care nurse to audit,”  said Florence.

And when Caroline breathed her last at Aga Khan Hospital on Saturday, July 31, 2021, her family was immediately thrown into a whirlwind.

The family is yet to share with The Standard the autopsy report. A post-mortem was conducted yesterday.? National Nurses Association of Kenya President Alfred Obengo demanded a ‘proper’ explanation from the hospital on the death of Mwenesi.

Obengo threatened that the association will take legal action against the hospital management.

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