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September 19, 2018

Ex-senator Kipchumba appeals for funds, ill son admitted in India

Former Senator Harold Kipchumba (front) with his ailing son Hillary Kiptum in hospital. /JOSEPH KANGOGO
Former Senator Harold Kipchumba (front) with his ailing son Hillary Kiptum in hospital. /JOSEPH KANGOGO

Former nominated senator Harold Kipchumba has appealed to the public for an additional Sh3 million for the treatment of his son admitted to an Indian hospital.

Hilary Kiptum suffered brain injury that left him partially paralysed after a road accident more than five years ago. He is undergoing treatment in India.

"I just left my ailing first-born son, aged 26, with his cousin Nicolas as I travelled back home so I can mobilise more resources to help settle the ballooning medical bill," Kipchumba told the Star in Kabarnet town yesterday.

Friends, family and well-wishers raised Sh2.6 million for Kiptum to undergo special treatment at the Spinal Injuries Centre in New Delhi on July 9.

He was seriously injured in a grisly road accident in which the car he was traveling in with his father was crashed between two lorries along the Naivasha-Nakuru highway on April 4, 2013. Four people died on the spot.

Kiptum has been attending Nakuru General Hospital and other hospitals for the last five years. Kipchumba, a polio survivor, was in 2013 nominated to the Senate to represent people living with disability by the ODM party, but the court nullified the selection.

Justice Rose Ougo revoked the nomination of Kipchumba and Linet Kemunto (TNA) and ordered the electoral commission to gazette Ben Njoroge and Goldliver Omondi as the duly nominated senators to represent disabled persons.

"The accident occurred four months after I lost my nomination. My son was driving. I thank God I only had a simple eye injury," Kipchumba recalls.

Kipchumba won the UN in Kenya Person of the Year 2015 Award as goodwill ambassador for immunisation. He has become the face of polio immunisation campaigns.

"I pray to God to give me back my son. He is my first born and I would love to be with him," Kiptum’s mother, Dorothy, said.

The family, from Chambai village in Baringo North subcounty, has spent about Sh18 million on treatment since the accident.

Kipchumba says his son is responding well to medication. "His speech has improved after undergoing stem cell transplant, brain treatment and physiotherapy that cost almost Sh4 million," the former senator said.

At least four specialists work on Kiptum daily for Sh76, 000. "Neurosurgeons have recommended that he remains in intensive physiotherapy for the next two and half months, so he can feed himself and even go to the toilet," he said.

Contributions can be sent to Kiptum Medical Fund: M-Pesa PayBill: 683358 Account Number: 472082001.

 

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