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November 17, 2018

Girl with memory loss seeks Sh3.4m to settle medical bill

Immaculate Khaemba during a therapy session in Kitale town /CORAZON WAFULA
Immaculate Khaemba during a therapy session in Kitale town /CORAZON WAFULA

The family of a 22-year-old girl in Trans Nzoia is appealing to well-wishers and the county government for Sh3.4 million.

Immaculate Khaemba’s family seeks to settle the medical bill accumulated at Nairobi women’s Hospital since July last year.

On July 6, the Bachelor of Nutritional Health and Dietetics student was thrown out of a moving matatu in Nairobi. She was headed to Mbagathi hospital.
Thugs boarded the matatu and snatched her phone. As she tried to fight back they threw her out of the moving vehicle. She was then run over by an oncoming matatu. Immaculate was rescued by boda boda operators who took her home.

At the time of the accident she was a third-year student at Karatina University attached to Mbagathi Hospital.

She was later taken to Kikuyu Hospital by her uncle. Nurses were on strike, frustrating efforts to have Immaculate attended to promptly. Her father Emmanuel Khaemba said the two arrived at the hospital at 9pm, but until midnight they still had not been attended to.

Her condition was worsening, prompting her uncle to seek help in a private facility. Emmanuel said Immaculate was finding it hard to speak and when she did she was incoherent. Immaculate was transferred to a private hospital which demanded a Sh300,000 deposit before admitting her. They could not raise the money at the moment. The administration at Nairobi Women’s asked for Sh20,000, which they paid and she was admitted.
The first exam showed Immaculate was bleeding into her lungs and had a broken hip. Her condition worsened and she slipped into a coma for four months.
no memory, no case
Immaculate woke up in December with memory loss. She could not remember what happened or people close to her, including her mother Catherine Khaemba, who had camped at the hospital while her daughter was in a coma.
By then, the hospital bill stood at Sh5 million. Doctors advised the family to take her home to avoid having to pay for so much. They were advised to take her for physiotherapy regularly. Immaculate, the second born in a family of three children, was discharged after a family friend released a land title deed.
 “We organised two harambees involving the church and friends. We raised Sh600,000 and I also sold part of my land to raise money to settle the hospital bill,” Emmanuel said.
The family was able to trace the matatu that hit Immaculate. The matter was reported at Pangani police station. However, the case can only continue if Immaculate’s memory and speech is fully restored.
Emmanuel is a brick builder and has to fend for two other children in secondary school.
“I hoped Immaculate would graduate, get a good job and help the family,” he said. Nairobi Women’s gave Emmanuel until July to pay the bill. Every day she has to be taken for therapy sessions 7km from their Kiminini home.

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