Hospital: Fork in baby’s head was aimed at mother
Baby Travis Maina could have been a victim of domestic squabbles between the father and the mother.
The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) management yesterday told Senate’s Health Committee, chaired by Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), that Baby Travis’ mother, Judy Muthoni, had said that the fork ‘jembe’ had been aimed at her during a domestic brawl with her husband.
The hospital’s chief executive officer, Evanson Kamuri, told the lawmakers that when Muthoni learned about the death of her son, she broke down, lamenting that the fork jembe had been aimed at her.
“When we broke the news of the death of the baby, the mother started to scream in distress, revealing how her husband had killed her baby. She was wailing, saying how the ‘jembe’ was aimed at her,” said Kamuri.
Very severe injury
According to him, the injury sustained by Baby Travis was so severe that it could not have been inflicted by a child.
“It was a severe injury that could not have been inflicted by other children while playing,” Kamuri held.
According to him, Muthoni was economical with the truth regarding the time the injury occurred, adding that she first took her son to a nearby pharmacy, where she was advised to rush him immediately to a more equipped hospital for specialized treatment.
While responding to the Senators’ questions regarding the minor’s death, CEO Kamuri explained that when the child was received at KNH, the doctors could not have immediately rushed the boy to the theatre because he had lost too much blood.
“We first needed to give him blood. And being a baby, that process is much slower because, if we could have given him too much blood at once, there was a risk of cardiac arrest,” explained Kamuri.
He went on: “We have CCTV cameras. You can have a look at them and see exactly what happened from the time the baby arrived at the hospital until the time the child was pronounced dead. The woman is a ‘totally dishonest’ person.”
Muthoni had earlier told the committee that, if the country’s largest referral hospital had acted immediately after they arrived at the facility, the boy’s life could have been saved.
“In my opinion, KNH did not act swiftly and immediately. They took more time to attend to the baby. If they had acted fast, the boy would not have died,” she narrated.
Muthoni had also told the committee that they arrived at KNH at 6.30pm but were not attended to until the following day at 1 pm, when the baby was taken to the theatre to remove the fork ‘jembe’ lodged in the head.
According to Muthoni, the doctors advised her not to give the child any food or drink before the child was taken to the theatre. This means that the child stayed for 26 hours without eating or drinking anything.
“We sat on plastic chairs, carrying the baby the whole night. The doctor who checked on Baby Travis told us not to give the baby any food or drink until he is taken to the theatre,” she said.
Kamuri also accused Muthoni of lying about being asked to pay Sh20,000 before the baby could be admitted, saying that Muthoni was only told how much she would need to have, as is usually the case when someone is processing admission.
Sh7b unpaid bills
“As a hospital, we do not ask for money, especially for emergency cases. This is because we look at the survival of a patient first. In fact, most of our clients do not pay. They do not pay even after treatment. There is Sh7 billion which has not been paid to the hospital as of now,” he said.
Lucy Muthoni, an aunt of Baby Travis, had also narrated to the lawmakers how the child was received at the Emergency Department yet not much was done until 10 pm when a doctor bandaged the head and again put the baby on a drip.
According to Lucy, she went to see the doctor in charge on the immediate assistance that was to be accorded to the child but the medic asked her if she had Sh20,500 for the surgery, an amount she didn’t have.
While there, she was forced to borrow Sh1,650 for the admission form so that the child could be admitted before commencement of the treatment.
“I went to see the doctor and found him just dusting a table. He asked me if I had Sh20,500 for the surgery. I told him we didn’t have that kind of cash but we wanted the child to be treated first,” she said.
She further told the committee that because they did not have the Sh20,500, they stayed until 8am the following day when the same doctor came to see the child and told them to prepare him for theatre.
Senator Mandago assured the hospital that they would counter-check the claims of the hospital and those of the woman before they come to any conclusion.
“If there were any lapses, please share them with us. They will inform our recommendations,” said Mandago.