After bashing my brains against the wall,
I realised how soon we forget where we
have been and where we are heading to.
Painfully but with much relief,l recalled
how a certain Doctor’s quick decision
saved me from what would have led
to an unnessary death eventually.
Precisely 21 years ago, immediately after
the birth of my last born, my fifth child,
daughter, something profound happened
in my life.It was at a time in my life’s journey
when l had hit rock bottom ,at the lowest
level. I did not have a stable income and
therefore no medical insurance .
During my post-natal stage,I developed
a breast abscess condition,in plain language
“a boil” . Milk clotted in my breast later
producing pus which would then burst out
in from an outer hole.This was one of the
most painful moments in my life, both
physically as well as emotionally ,as l
could neither hold my new born baby
nor breastfeed her or even walk straight
without an arm sling due to the swelling.
During this period,l visited so many cheap
private clinics where l incurred many cuts
each time as they tried to remove the pus ,
and all the time l pleaded for a referral to
the biggest, National public hospital in
Nairobi Kenya:The Kenyatta National
Hospital.(The rule was without a referral
letter no admission).As a common citizen
this was my only hope and goal since that’s
where good qualified Doctors work at an
Finally a month later l recieved the letter
and went to KNH arriving at 6’oclock .
But the ordeal was not over and l was
admitted to the Burns- Unit 14 hours later
after friends at the market raised the
required fee of Kshs 800.l was taken
to an overcrowded ward where l had to
share a single bed with a teenage girl
who had had very serious paraffin burns
all over her body. l could not lie down and
as l sat , l watched and sympathised
helplessly with all those suffering bodies
and listened to their endless cries and
A Miracle happened….sometime after
Midnight a lone Doctor visited the ward
and after looking at me he asked that l
be taken to the theatre immediately.
l was operated and when l woke up, l
could not believe it.l had a small bandage
and the pain was gone.The feeling was
great, an overwhelming joy of being born
again.My first thoughts were,l want to
go home so that l can hold my baby and
look into her eyes so that she can see
a face free from the wrinkles of pain and
I was released in the morning and l
thanked God for that one lone diligent
Doctor who showed me mercy.
He not only saved my breast, he was
compassionate enough to make a speedy
decision not to waste hospital space and
a wise one to operate in order to hinder
another death and the possibility of
an an additional statistic to the growing
list of Breast cancer patients.
This article honors and is a salutation to
that doctor whom l never got to know his
name ,but l am indebted to him for he
helped a mother of five see daylight again.
He is a representative to all other Doctors
in Kenya’s PUBLIC HOSPITALS.
They deseve recognition,respect and a
Payroll that equals their hard work and
many studious and research into new
I sincerely thank every living Doctor more
so those who work in Public hospitals and
refugee camps all over the world.
I pray for peace and justice and
understanding from our Government
and it’s people.
Your grateful patient.
Charity Wairimu Ngugi Latz