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September 20, 2018

'Will I ever hear again?' Former KRA official appeals for Sh2.5 million treatment after meningitis strike leaves her deaf

Eunice Musau Ngunguu was forced to abandon her work and stay at home after she lost her hearing in 2014.
Eunice Musau Ngunguu was forced to abandon her work and stay at home after she lost her hearing in 2014.

She was all dependent on herself – just like any other woman of her age. But as fate would have it, 31-year-old Eunice Musau Ngunguu was forced to abandon work and stay at home after she lost her hearing in 2014.

According to her relatives, Eunice was working at Wajir Airport with the Kenya Revenue Authority as a support staff.

“In 2014, she started being sickly and complained of headaches and pains on the legs. She later turned violent,” says Andrew Oyaro, her in-law.

Oyaro says they transferred her from Wajir hospital to the Kenyatta National Hospital. She was diagnosed with TB meningitis, an infection of the brain by the TB bacterium.

She was placed on medication for three weeks and later lost her memory.

“It took three to four days for her to regain consciousness. When she recovered, she started telling people to talk loudly since she could not hear,” Oyaro said. “At this stage, she had lost balance,” he says.

Eunice, who is not married, now lives with her sister in Uthiru Estate near Nairobi.

“We took her to the school of the deaf in order for her to learn sign language. Since then, her life changed completely and she has been unable to do things on her own because of the hearing loss,” Oyaro said.

Her family then took her to the Nairobi ENT Clinic where doctors report revealed that she can only hear if a cochlear implant is done.

The doctor announced that all was not lost for Eunice since she can regain her hearing but at a heavy price.

Prof Muthure Macharia, who is the ENT head and neck surgeon, said Eunice suffers from post Meningitis Bilateral Profound Sensorineural loss – that is, hearing loss as a result of bacterial meningitis.

“The severity of her hearing loss is such that she cannot benefit from amplification with hearing aids.

Cochlear implantation with a Medel Senata Cochlear with an Opus 2 speech processor has been recommended.”

The estimated cost (hospitalisation, surgical and anesthetist fees and one year rehabilitation is Sh2.5 million. This surgery can be done under the auspices of the Cochlear Implant Group of Kenya at The MP Shah Hospital,” Prof Muthure said.

Earlier, the family wanted to take her to India for the exercise but was told that the Ministry of Health directive is that they could not go to India yet the services are available here in Kenya.

According to their research, the services cheaper in India.

Eunice's sister, Feliststus Mwanziu, said the family is appealing to well wishers to help them raise the money.

“We are a modest family. She was working and depending on herself but it’s sad that she has now become dependent on us. We cannot communicate except through SMS or you write something down for her,” Mwanziu said.

Mwanziu added that her sister is always asking “When will I hear? Will I ever hear”.

She added that Eunice can only hear very loud sounds.

“We call on all well wishers, NGOs and anyone of good will to help us raise money for the cochlear transplant. We will appreciate any form of help that comes our way,” Mwanziu said.

The family has also come up with an MPesa paybill number and an account number where well wishers can deposit cash.

The Mpesa paybill number is 855392, Eunice Musau Ngunguu Medical Fund and well wishers are requested to use their own names as the account names.

Well wishers can also deposit cash in the Cooperative bank, Eunice Musau Ngunguu Medical Fund, Account number 01109704859900.

Direct MPesa deposits in the Bank account can be done using paybill 400200, then the bank account number.

The family said that once enough money is raised, they will take Eunice for surgery with the hope that she will be able to hear again.

 

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