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September 19, 2017

Young kidney donor who beat the odds to save her father’s life

The 20 old Grace Wangui and her father Peter Njoroge Kamanga speaking to the press.
The 20 old Grace Wangui and her father Peter Njoroge Kamanga speaking to the press.

A lot of people are worried to donate important organs of their body to others so as to save their lives owing to their ill health, but one girl has beaten all odds.

She had only completed her high school education at Njambini Girl, when she realised her father Peter Njoroge’s diabetic condition was worsening.

The twenty years old Grace Wangui was disturbed by the condition and she started praying for him to recover quickly so that he can take her to institutions of higher learning.

“I sat for my KCSE at Njambini Girls in 2015. I was so fresh from high school. I wanted to join university or a reputable college where I could study Mass Communication, but my father’s condition couldn’t allow” she says.

“He is hardworking, caring, and full of ideas and a lot of encouraging words but he was sick. His condition was scaring and disturbing me a lot” she adds.

Wangui says the condition forced him to be going for dialysis at The Mater Hospital every two times in a week since his diabetes condition had destroyed his kidneys.

However, the 48 years old Njoroge reveals he has been living with diabetes for 18 years, adding it only needs to be managed with diet.

He adds, he started developing kidney problems and went to The Mater Hospital where he was admitted and later discharged but was asked to be attending for dialysis services.

He reveals that dialysis costs were being catered by the National Hospital Insurance Fund kitty, adding that he was only paying another Sh 14,000 for injections and tablets he would be supplied with.

“Dialysis treatment is very costly. I used to go for it after every two weeks. The NHIF supported me a lot. It would cater for the service. I used to pay Sh 14,000 cash for injections and tablets for every week” he reveals.

However, early 2016, doctors told him that his kidney’s condition had worsened to be chronic, and none of them could function.

The family was advised to look for a donor who could donate a kidney to him so as to save his life since life had to go on.

They started looking too for a cheaper hospital where a transplant could be done, if they got a donor.

“My parents, their friends and the entire family were confused. We moved very fast looking for a donor. At that time, he was still going for dialysis” Wangui adds.

It is at that time, Njoroge’s friends visited him to know how he was fairing and advised him to contact The Apollo Hospital in New Delhi in India.

“Friends visited me at home. One of them had a friend who had undergone kidney transplant in India. In fact he called the Apollo Hospital and enquired for details and introduced me to the doctors there. We started interacting online” Njoroge reveals.

After contacting them, Njoroge reveals they were advised what to do and to submit before they left the country for transplant.

Wangui says the beneficiary was asked to submit his blood group and sampling together with that of the donor.

The donor who only volunteered where Wangui, her sister Peninah Njeri and their cousin Owen Ng’ang’a.

She says they went for blood testing at Lanset Center at Parklands, where Wangui’s blood resembled her father’s. They are O+.

“I was referred to counseling so as to prepare for transplant. At first I never wanted counseling, I said I know what I want and that was my father’s good health. I didn’t want him to die. I was so scared but his love made me strong” she says.

“Later, I encouraged my heart and I attended counseling sessions at Lanset Center” she says.

The hospital booked the transplant for May 26, 2016, and so they had to start preparing themselves by looking for the hospital bill and air tickets.

On April 10, 2016, the family conducted a fund raiser and they collected Sh 4 million that catered for the air ticket, transplant and stay at the hospital.

Njoroge reveals that the service cost them Sh 1.5 million excluding fair and upkeep.

Wangui remembers that on May 7, last year, the left Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 12am, heading to India, and she was praying God to add her strength.

“I was praying silently asking God to give me strength and protect us with my father. I told God never forget me because of what am doing. I want my father to go back to his normal life and take me to university and do any other calling he had” she reveals.

She remembers they stopped at 5am at Oman Muscat, before they left straight up to New Delhi.

Njoroge’s second born daughter remembers they reported at the hospital on May 10, where doctors started observing them until May 26 where transplant was conducted.

“I spent two hours in theater while doctors and surgeons were removing my left kidney while they spent three hours on my dad placing it” she remembers.

“I was observed by doctors for four days before I was discharged while my father had to stay a little longer for seven days being observed” she adds.

After check up while out of the hospital, they were allowed to come back to the country to continue with their life.

Njoroge who is husband to Susan Wambui and father to Njeri, Wangui, Francis Kamanga and Silvia Njoki was a driver at A and K Tours and Travel company.

Since he was advised by the doctors not to drive for at least 6 months, he now works at Chiieko East Africa Advocates in Kikuyu town in Kikuyu constituency in Kiambu county.

“Am now working hard to ensure my family lives a better life. Diabetes is controlled and am controlling it, in fact its not even a bother. Am thanking God for giving me another chance” Njoroge says.

However, Njoroge appeals to NHIF to consider catering for medicines prescribed for patients who undergo for transplant, since they cost over Sh 40,000 per month.

“In fact I have been supported by the money that remained after the whole process. I was lucky since we conducted a fund raising before we left for India” he says

Wangui says that she is not now living at their home in Rironi village in Limuru constituency where the family resides, but she joined Ztech University main Campus in Thika, where she is studying a diploma in Mass Communication.

Her story came into the public, when she posted in her facebook account narrating to her friends how she supported her father by donating a kidney to him so as to save his life.

“My friends would discuss the issue in hidden way. Some denied I would do that, some trying to prove it since they didn’t see me in mid last year” she says.

“I explained to them everything, some called, others sent sms’s, others wrote back on my face book page, others emailed me and there are those who visited me and our family at home” she says.

“Above all, I urge everyone to be ready to help someone who is in need. No one wants their parents, brothers, sister or any other person to get sick, but when they are sick and you can offer help, go for it and help” she says.

Her friends describe her brave and she never lacks answers to any question asked.

Susan Wanja who is her friend says, “Wangui answers all questions asked politely, we like her company because she is always focused. She is one who cannot annoy or let you down”.

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