Pant harder (like a dog). Push harder. Harder. 2cm to go. She draws the curtain and moves on to the next. This one is vomiting and shitting; hard not to judge her; her room smells like a toilet. She moves closer to her, how are you feeling?
Robert! ……………………….Robert!……………………..Robert!…………………. is what the pregnant woman responds. That must be the husband. It’s who they remember when in the delivery room.
For 38Years, `Mama Nyoo’ (JOYCE MAINGI) dedicated her days and nights to giving medical care, midwifery, and going home to be a wife and mother. For 38years, her phone number was on speed dial for patients. When her phone rang, it didn’t matter who it was, what time it was, or what she was doing; she picked. She saved lives. 4years ago she retired; she’s 64 now. She misses her job sometimes; it was a calling. Some patients failed to move on; they still call her for help which she offers jovially.
One day, she goes to hospital (as a patient) and the doctor says `you have liver cirrhosis’. You contracted it a while back, probably while attending to patients. Now, It’s bad. The liver has been affected. You urgently need a liver transplant in India. The cost is 7million. Nyoo, Shugu, Karonji and Ngima are all in a competition on who gives her mother a liver; that’s not a problem.
7Million; that’s the major challenge. That’s what is stealing her joy. It’s the line between her and healing. She doesn’t have it….YET. 7M is her current obsession; and the family’s. Mama Nyoo was happily enjoying being a shosh (grandma) to Shiru. Getting the hang of having a whole human being named after her. The 3year old can be nagging at times. First thing she does when she wakes up is wake shosh up. That gives Mama Nyoo the most joy. She says, `shiru nianjokagia muoyo’ (Shiru brings me back to life). The liver transplant will make her see many moons, enjoy being a grandma, witness as Shiru graduates to high school. Her children want to have mum back on her feet, to welcome them home, cook them irio, call them every day, and that will happen, yes.
The first baby Mama Nyoo delivered is now 38years. For the many lives she saved in those 38years, for the many lives she delivered, for her selfless service to this Kenya’s healthcare. YOU can save her life too. It’s a 7Million stretch.
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Is anything too small? NO! `HABA NA HABA HUJAZA KIBABA’.