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New mum nurse dies after testing negative for Covid-19

Health & Science

Nurse Maryanne Adumba who died at Kisii Referral Hospital on Sunday. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Maryanne Adumba, a nurse at Ranchuonyo Sub-county Hospital in Homa Bay County was wheeled to the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital (KTRH) isolation treatment centre with one wish – a safe delivery.

However, what looked like a Covid-19 success story turned tragic on Sunday evening as Maryanne, 32, breathed her last. For two days, she had complained of sharp pain on her right side of the chest.

One-hour frantic efforts by medics ended at 4.01 pm on Sunday, a day before the patient could be discharged from hospital or relocated to the general ward after she tested negative for coronavirus.

Hospital Chief Executive Officer Enock Ondari said Covid-19 had cleared from her system. “The sudden change for the patient shocked all of us. This is a new disease that we are all learning to manage,” said Dr Ondari.

At 33 weeks of pregnancy, Maryanne had tested positive for Covid-19 on samples that had been taken for a second time within four days.

Her first test had turned out negative.

She was admitted to KTRH’s High Independence Unit (HDU) on July 19 on referral from Ranchuonyo Sub-county Hospital after she complained of chest pains and breathing difficulties.

At 65-70 saturation, and with coronavirus results positive, Maryanne continued to press doctors to have her baby saved.

Six days later, on July 24 at 10.30 pm, she delivered a bouncing baby boy weighing 1.8kg. Five days later, doctors manning the isolation centre announced that Maryanne had recovered from the coronavirus after a third test showed negative results.

Eunice Nyorera, the Deputy Nurse Manager at KTRH and the in-charge nurse at the hospital’s isolation centre, said they lost the battle halfway.

“Unfortunately, we have lost Maryanne even after undergoing a successful delivery. We worked hard both day and night. I thought she could improve immediately after she had delivered,” said Nyorera.

“I was planning to accompany her home on her discharge from the hospital. Maybe she had a premonition of her death because she talked positively of her mother-in-law whom she said could take care of her baby in her absence.”

Nyorera said Maryanne was constantly on the Internet using her phone.

“She talked of various researches that have been conducted on Covid-19 patients. The negative writings on social media affected her,” she said.

Maryanne’s husband, Stephen Oketch, who has since picked up the baby, said what befell his wife was the will of God.

“I have accepted and wish to have time to mourn my dear wife,” said Oketch.

Maryanne joined St Joseph Medical Training College in Nyakach in 2006 and left in 2010 after her Nursing Council of Kenya examination.

Her college mate Jane Wangari said the deceased was an excellent student even in clinical placement.

“She was so lively, loving and full of energy,” said Wangari.

Kisii County Public Health  Officer Richard Onkware said they will allow the family to carry out burial without any restrictions.

“We had given the patient a clean bill of health in terms of Covid-19,” said Dr Onkware.

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