He walked out of the national referral hospital where he was brought in critical condition a fortnight ago and went home — to play, as the doctors put it.
On Thursday, Baby Satrine Osinya was discharged from Kenyatta National Hospital after what doctors termed a remarkable and successful treatment; they had removed a bullet from his head. (READ: Bullet in the brain: Baby Satrine Osinya’s remarkable recovery)
Baby Satrine was injured when gunmen opened fire at a church in Likoni, Mombasa, killing his mother Veronica Akinyi and other worshippers.
And as if to affirm that he was a healthy and radiant toddler, from the hospitals wards, Satrine walked towards the cameras waving “good-bye” at those who had followed the progress of the toddler.
The symbolic wave from the child was an emotional moment as the KNH medical team, journalists and patients awaiting treatment at the health facility took time to admire the resilience of the toddler who caught national headlines after the Likoni terrorist attack in Mombasa County.
Not too far was his elder brother, Gift, whom Satrine was pulling by the hand and encouraging to walk towards the cameras, as if assuring him it was okay to pose for the Press.
The medical team that operated on baby Satrine and the hospital management, including KNH chief executive Lily Koros, watched him walk away from the location of the Press briefing, stealing the hearts of onlookers that had followed his recovery.
“We are delighted that baby Satrine has shown remarkable improvement and today has been discharged to go home,” said Ms Koros. “Let’s continue praying for Satrine and his brother because they are going to a home without their mother.
As the media briefing continued, Satrine grew restless and with his father’s phone in hand, walked away, keen to look around the grounds that had almost become his home.
Ms Koros thanked partners and well-wishers who contributed in one way or the other to ensure Satrine received treatment.
Part of the team of doctors and nurses that took care of baby Satrine was also present.
“Satrine is healthy and fit to go home and play, though he will be monitored once a week at the KNH neurosurgical clinic every Monday afternoon to assess healing,” said Dr Kiboi who was also flanked by Dr Chris Musau and Dr Gichuru Mwangi.
According to the hospital management, the accrued hospital bill of Sh170,000 will be settled by the government as earlier promised.
Satrine’s father, Benson Osinya, also extended appreciation to both the organisations and individuals who made it possible for his injured son to get the specialised medical treatment. “We are also undergoing counselling to help us deal with the events,” Benson said.
Benson whose wife Veronica Akinyi was shot dead as she shielded her son said he had forgiven the attackers and chosen to concentrate on taking care of his children.
“Though my wife’s death has left a gap in my life, I forgive those who attacked the church,” Benson said.
As his father addressed journalists, Satrine beckoned to be carried by his father and upon doing so, he reached out for one of the microphones, as if he wanted to continue with the interview.
“Ni Yangu (Mine!),” Satrine said into the microphone before his father continued with the interview.
“I extend my gratitude to the Coast medical team, Amref Flying doctors, Kenyatta National Hospital and all well-wishers who have walked with us during these tough times,” he said.
Benson could not confirm the status of job offers he has been receiving, saying that he had been overwhelmed by his son’s surgery and his wife’s burial in Busia.
“I am yet to find out whether the offers are valid. I intend to spend at least three days in Nairobi before I leave for Mombasa,” Benson said adding a job offer was welcome to enable him support his family.
At the KNH Casualty parking, Gift carried his brother to the car
Young Osinya bid onlookers ‘bye’, unaware that in the hearts of many, he was a symbol of perseverance and hope.