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Hospital gave me a new lease of life

 Peter Omondi showing a scar caused during accident. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Exercise is a healthy habit that we all strive to adopt, but for Peter Omondi keeping fit caused him untold suffering after he sustained head injuries that cost him the remaining period of his internship. The only way the Bachelor of Commerce graduate from Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology student knew how to relieve his body of month long stress was in the field where he played soccer with his school mates.

“After receiving his first remuneration, we decided to organise a friendly match with a team from Thika. A few minutes into the game, I tripped and fell,” said Omondi.

By the time he was admitted to hospital, Omondi had already lost consciousness. According to medical reports, he had sustained internal head injuries and had a blood clot on the left side of his brain.

“At Kenyatta National Hospital, I was told the soonest I could have an operation to remove the clot was after two months. The pain I was experiencing was simply too intense,” said Omondi.

With limited resources Omondi’s family sought a facility that could accommodate their son. Most facilities cited lack of equipment for the procedure and others too expensive costs. His parents, according to Omondi, resorted to desperate measures.

“I was taken to Nairobi Womens’ Hospital that requested a deposit of at least Sh250 000 before they could do the surgery. My mother pleaded with management of the hospital to allow the surgery without any down payment. She explained their poor background and their dependence on the hope of their first born son’s achievement. I am the first born in a family of five and I have always performed very well in school. This is the same reason I was allowed to pick my high school certificates despite having a fee balance of Sh25, 000,” Omondi recalls.

To their amazement, the hospital agreed to operate on Omondi and even offered to admit him for free. Two days after admission, Omondi was successfully operated on and three weeks later discharged. By then, the bill had accumulated to over Sh800 000 and expectedly, the family could not raise the amount.

“We involved our extended family members to raise the amount but all we could manage was Sh60, 000. The bank I was working for offered to pay Sh100 000. The hospital was forced to detain me within the facility till the bill was settled,” he recounted.

One January morning, three months detained at the hospital, Omondi and his younger brother plotted an escape from the facility, but were arrested at the exit.

“I was so desperate. Schools had reopened and I needed to go back. I was in my last year of studies and also had exams which I had differed in second year due to lack of school fees to take. I needed so much to study,” narrated Omondi.

That evening, Omondi said he went to the hospital manager’s office and apologised for the incident, giving him explanations on why he had resorted to that.

“To my surprise, the manager called me later after a meeting with the board and informed me that I was free to go after signing an agreement to settle the bill at my discretion. I was overwhelmed as the entire family came to apologise for my attempt to escape as well as thank the hospital administration,” he said.

Two years later, Omondi said he is now able to go back to his hobby in the field even though with extreme caution not to cause himself any more harm.

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