The family of an accident survivor who spent 18 hours in an ambulance will this morning decide whether to switch off life support and allow him to die.
Family members said doctors had lost hope that Mr Alex Madaga will come out of a coma and the hospital has counselled them to accept his possible death.
His wife, however, clings to the hope that her husband of one year will recover.
“The doctors have counselled me, saying that there is no hope but I know his condition might change, it is now in God’s hands,” said the wife, Ms Jessica Moraa.
His father, Mr Bainito Matini Cheni, 63, has sent for his wife and she is expected from Mbale, their upcountry home this morning. Together, they will decide whether to switch off the life support machine.
“They have said there is no hope. They say blood has clotted in his brain but his heart is beating okay. I asked them to switch off the machines because I don’t think my son is there any more,” he said in an interview with the Nation after seeing his son breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
According to Ms Moraa, this is the second tragedy to hit the family after the couple lost their nine-month-old baby less than five months ago.
The KNH management also defended its actions, saying that Mr Madaga was admitted in their Critical Care Unit because a bed was available but not because of the intervention of the patient’s family members as alleged by Ms Moraa and her family.
“We even gave them oxygen cylinders as they waited for a bed,” said Mr Simon Ithae, the hospital’s communications officer.
He supported the statement by the hospital’s deputy director clinical services, Dr Simeon Monda, that there was neither a bed nor a ventilator machine to help the patient breathe.
Dr Monda said: “The ambulance was the safest place for him to be at the time because it had the necessary equipment. We only have 21 ICU beds for the over 2,500 patients admitted in KNH daily.”
Two private hospitals that Mr Madaga’s wife claimed would not admit her husband without a cash payment of at least Sh200,000 clarified that they too, like KNH, could not admit the patient because they did not have a free bed in the ICU.
They denied claims that they turned away the patient because his relatives did not have the money to pay the deposit.
Nairobi Women’s Hospital’s public relation officer, Mr Johnson Mwinzi, said the hospital has a policy where “a patient is admitted first and then payment is followed up later”.
“Indeed, Kikuyu Mission Hospital referred four patients to our facility at Adams Arcade Branch but they only picked two patients because we only have three ICU beds and one was already occupied and thus Mr Madaga was referred elsewhere.”
Mr Madaga had been referred to the hospital from Kikuyu Mission Hospital on Monday night after the hit-and-run accident in Kangemi.
Ms Moraa and the paramedics who took care of Mr Madaga in the ambulance said they had sought assistance at two other hospitals on Ngong Road but were turned away at both.
However, the hospitals yesterday said they had no record indicating that Mr Madaga was taken there and, therefore, could not comment on the allegations.
Mr Madaga had critical injuries and his chances of survival were not helped by being denied intensive care for 18 hours.