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Taxi driver refuses to give up on childhood dream of being a nurse

NATIONAL
By Chebet Birir | August 6th 2021

Justus Nyabuto had always wanted to be a nurse. He got a B in KCSE. [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

While growing up, Justus Nyabuto, 28, wanted to be a nurse. And he is still nursing the dream.

Today, he runs a taxi business but is still driving towards his life-long ambition.

Although he has faced setbacks, some circumstances have been a blessing in disguise.

Nyabuto stays in Utawala estate, near a hospital, the same area where he operates his taxi business. And he responds to many distress calls from patients seeking urgent assistance.

“I stay around Reina Hospital. I have interacted a lot with patients and I tend to exchange contacts with many of them in case they need my services again,” he says.

Some of the emergencies, especially those involving women in labour pains, have forced him to have a handy medical kit.

On the night of July 26, 2021, Nyabuto says a friend, who is also an ambulance driver at the nearby Reina Hospital, requested him to carry a patient they were referring to Mama Lucy Hospital. Little did he know that he would be an impromptu midwife, for the second time.

“She was having a lot of back pains and it was clear she was almost due, which she confirmed,” he says. No sooner had Nyabuto arrived at Mama Lucy Hospital than the patient’s,  labour pains intensified. She could not even alight from the vehicle.

“She fell down at the doorstep and a security guard on duty told me to go get a stretcher, but there was no working stretcher,” he says.

All this time, nurses and doctors at the hospital were aware that there was an emergency but every time they were requested to come to deliver the patient, “they told us to either take her to the maternity ward or assist her ourselves”.

Nyabuto says he asked the female security guard to assist, but she had no skills.

Justus Nyabuto. [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

“I asked her to support the patient’s back as I rushed to my car to get the equipment. And in less than five minutes the baby was crowning. I pulled her out and she was so pretty,” he says.

He then clipped the umbilical cord, covered the baby with a Maasai shuka that the mother, Eunice Kimani, had carried and took the two to the maternity ward for check-up.

But they did not like the reception they received. According to Ms Kimani and Nyabuto, the hospital staff were rude.

“We found them in the ward just seated comfortably as though there was no emergency,” says Nyabuto.

Nyabuto says he is happy that on that day he saved not just one life, but two.

However, this was not the first time that he had successfully helped deliver a baby. The first time he did it was in January, this year.

“I just got a normal request and she needed to be transferred to Mama Lucy Hospital. She was in so much pain and when I asked her if the pregnancy was mature, she told me she was 36 weeks expectant. So I knew it was not yet time for her to deliver,” he says.

It is when Nyabuto hit a pothole as he was driving that the woman complained of more intense back pains.

“I told her to hold on because we were almost at the hospital, but she told me the baby was coming out. I parked the car and went to the back seat, pulled her skirt and I could see the baby crowning,” he says. Nyabuto only had gloves in his car, so he put them on and miraculously helped deliver the baby.

Mama Lucy Hospital. [David Gichuru, Standard]

The other time he faced such a scenario, it was a woman who was bleeding who requested to be taken to Mama Lucy Hospital. “She was in so much pain but I did not know she was bleeding. I picked her but on the way, she got a miscarriage,” Nyabuto says.

It is this particular encounter that prompted Nyabuto to always be ready for such scenarios. Nyabuto had always wanted to be a nurse. He got a B in KCSE. He was also a good athlete and this helped him get a scholarship to study nursing as an athlete in Texas. Unfortunately, that was not to happen.

“I had this coach from Texas who would train me in preparation for the scholarship. I used to run very well and they gave me the scholarship. But my coach got a medical condition and unfortunately passed on,” he says.

Nyabuto opted to join college to do accounting. But his heart was not there so he quit after the first year.

“I decided to venture into this Uber business so I can raise school fees for medical school. I hope that one day I will be able to pursue my dream,” he says. 

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