A Former Teacher Living on Borrowed Time as his Heart Weakens.

ByTiyo Wako
Published on: May 28, 2023 06:05
Keen Masese Nyakundi .PHOTO|Courtesy

It all started in 1993 when the retired teacher was admitted to Coast General Hospital for a whole year.

He had complained of endless running sensations with pain in his toes, a persistent cough, and back pain that would make it hard for him to walk even short distances.

Doctors at the public hospital said that Mr. Keen's veins were narrow and advised him to stop taking salts and instead placed him on treatments that were to make his veins strong.

After a year of no developed progress, the family sought a third option before making a decision to transfer Mr. Nyakundi to Aga Khan University Hospital in Mombasa.

According to Doctor Swaleh B. Misfar from the AKUH, Nyakundi was diagnosed with double vulvar disease, aortic valve disease, and mitral valve disease.

"The three illnesses had harmed his heart, and the valves were weakening rapidly. Doctors advised an open heart surgery as a result,” said Ms. Nyakundi, a teacher, on Monday.

Dr. Swaleh recommended the transfer of Mr. Nyakundi to Madras Medical Mission's Institute of Cardio-Vascular Disease in India for open-heart surgery.

An operation was conducted on February 22, 2011, where two surgeons and four doctors inserted metallic valves to sustain Mr. Nyakundi's heart.

They said the metallic valve was to sustain him until 2018, and afterward, the teacher was to get another surgery to repair the vital organs that pump blood.

“Doctors refer to it as a miracle. Although bedridden, my hubby is still alive. The agony never stops. Watching the love of my life go through this is heartbreaking,” said Mrs. Nyakundi.

Mrs. Nyakundi added that the family was in financial dire straits and that they sold everything and even went the extra mile to borrow money from friends who chipped in and offered help at their best.

Mrs Nyakundi does not understand why Kenyans like her are not offered help from the NHIF despite remitting monthly dues.

Even with the gloom that surrounds her family, Mrs. Nyakundi claims that she sees light at the end of the tunnel for her family.


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