She can walk, 16 surgeries later, but not out of hospital

Friday, October 4th, 2019 00:00 |
Joyce Kerubo assists her daughter Florence Mbwari to walk at the Kijabe Mission Hospital where she has been undergoing treatment on her fractured right leg for close to a year. PD/CLEMENT KAMAU

Sixteen unsuccessful operations, neurological metal plates, amputation scares, rejection by biological father, family disintegration, dropping out of school –Florence Mbwari’s life reads like an encyclopaedia of misfortunes. 

And when you think fate can’t surely swing any more punches at such a young life, it does exactly that. Smacks her with a Sh600,000 hospital bill accruing at Sh4,000 a day. Life! 

Florence was hit by a car as she headed back home from school in 2017, and her mother has spent more than Sh5 million on her treatment. She broke her right leg, something that has exposed her to untold pain as doctors try to get her back on her feet. 

After the accident, she was taken to a hospital in Nyamira where first aid was administered on her before she was  referred to Tenwek hospital.  

Beyond hospital 

“Doctors there couldn’t treat my daughter. I was forced to seek a hospital with better facilities,” says Joyce Kerubo, Florence’ mother. 

The mother of five had to shoulder the burden on her own having recently been divorced for reportedly giving birth to girls only, which is said to be against the Abagusii customs. 

She transferred Florence to St Mary’s Hospital, in Naivasha. But as fate would have it, doctors at the private facility went on a strike on the very day she was to be operated  on the then rotting leg. 

“My daughter was in so much pain and I have never felt so helpless and frustrated,” she says. 

A desolate Kerubo transferred her first born daughter to the Nakuru Level Five Hospital. Here, they operated on her festering leg and implanted neurological plates in it.  She was discharged a few months later but since poverty is an uncompromising (female dog), her healing environment lacked requisite hygiene and the broken bones started detaching.  “The pain was incredible. But the hopelessness was worse,” Florence says. 

Having emptied her coffers, her mother, with help  from well wishers took her distraught daughter to Kijabe Mission hospital.  Here, she was attended to by a team of neuro-surgeons who removed neurotoxins on her decaying limb and replaced the plates. She has spent nearly a year at the facility and has now improved greatly. 

She was discharged from the hospital two weeks ago. However, she can’t leave the facility before clearing the Sh600,000 bill. Florence, who has never come second in her school life, says she wants to go back to her studies and later join university and pursue a degree in teaching. 

“I just pray people out there will help me clear the bill and get out of hospital to pursue teaching dream. I have faith well wishers will get me out of here,” says a jovial Florence despite her fate.   

People Daily has since learnt that the driver of the vehicle that hit her frustrates efforts to have the girl get compensated by the insurance company. 

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