TOUGH TIME

Shiro wa GP: My son died of TB after doctor's negligence

Had her twins been tested, the son could have been saved, she says

In Summary

• Shiro contracted TB after giving birth to her twins, doctor refused to test her babies

Celebrated Kikuyu gospel singer Shiru wa GP has revealed her son died of tuberculosis he contracted from her, while her daughter, now seven, survived by a whisker.

Speaking on a YouTube interview, Shiro poured her heart out and shared her experience with a negligent doctor at a hospital in Nairobi, who failed to do TB tests on her babies.

She had given birth to a boy and girl prematurely after just seven months, and was subsequently admitted, while her daughter was still in hospital.

The double admission of mother and daughter pushed the bill high, compelling close friends and family to fundraise.

"God finally remembered me after nine years. At seven months, I got some complications and was rushed to Aga Khan Hospital, where I was successfully operated on."

After the operation, Shiro recounted asking the doctor to show her the babies but was told, "You cannot call them babies because they might not survive."

"They were in ICU and I became very bitter with God. I asked God if this was my blessing that I had waited for nine years, 'Why have you done that to me?"

She said that is the biggest pain she ever went through. She added that her two babies almost left her bankrupt as she sold almost everything.

She admits that after conceiving, she thought everything would be okay and even ceased praying.

"I think I had been praying for so long to an extent now I felt complete after conceiving. After the scan, I was excited to realise I was carrying twins."

After one week of admission at the Aga Khan Hospital, Shiro said the bill was at Sh2.2 million.

"I almost ran mad. I withdrew my one million and became broke. My husband decided we sell our car and so we cleared the other balance."

It was then that they decided to transfer their babies to a more affordable hospital, although they were still not stable.

"I told the hospital it was too expensive for us. We went and checked MP Shah, which was slightly affordable," she said.

"I talked to the doctors and so they were admitted even without money. I started using a matatu since I was not able to fuel our car and it got to a point our babies could not add any weight."

Shiro used to commute every day to take the milk for her babies in the hospital since she could not afford to stay with the babies in hospital.

She one day felt weak and after some examinations by her doctor, they said she needed to be quickly admitted.

"I was taken to Nairobi Women's Hospital. I had contracted TB and had transmitted it to my babies," she said, adding that after she asked the doctor in charge of her baby to test them, she said they were okay.

"That is why they were not adding weight. I was admitted but I still used to express milk for them. After being discharged, my son was doing better and so the doctor said I would go with him home but leave the girl, who was still not stable."

Shiro said despite her having TB, the doctor allowed her to go home with her son home, without doing any TB test. The following day at night, she woke her son up to breastfeed him but he was unresponsive.

"I gave my husband to feed him with the milk. I had not noticed anything but my husband noticed he was dead. I called our neighbour, who took us to hospital and the doctors broke the news that our son had died."

She added how devastated they were losing their son, knowing how people out there were celebrating that she had finally given birth but did not know the children were sick.

"Bills had hiked, too, so I had decided to sell our home but singer Loise Kim suggested we tell radio presenter Njogu wa Njoroge to tell the public to help us raise funds."

Luckily, Kenyans contributed over Sh6 million for the singer and she was able to clear the hospital bills. President Uhuru Kenyatta also contributed Sh1 million for the singer.

"My daughter spent 95 days in hospital and even after getting the money, I was still in doubt that she would survive. All that time, they had not tested her for TB."

Shiro then decided to try another way, which was to fast and pray for seven days.

She said before the seven days, the doctor who was in charge of her babies said she was travelling for further studies and so she left Shiro's baby under the care of another doctor.

"The new doctor asked how long the child had been on oxygen and so he advised that tests be done on my daughter, only for them to find out that she had TB and all the lungs were destroyed," she said.

After one week, her daughter had improved and was finally discharged. "She has grown to be a healthy child. She is almost seven years now and I am also raising two other adopted kids."