When Irene Joyce Oluoch, 25, got pregnant with twins, she could hardly wait to hold them in her arms.
On the due date, she checked into the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu for a caesarean section.
“l went through the operation and all was well. I was soon discharged from the hospital and was home with my twins,” says Mrs Oluoch.
As she settled down to raise her babies, nothing could have prepared her for the health problems that lay ahead. Traces of cotton, which had been left in her abdomen, would make her life miserable, and in a devastated state.
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“After six days, l started feeling a sharp pain in my lower abdomen. At first, I thought it was normal to feel pains in the stomach considering I was healing after going through an operation,” says the mother of four.
Her condition got worse and soon she was grappling with a severe and prolonged coughing fit beside intense chest pains.
“I had to go back to the same hospital, where I went through a series of tests that yielded nothing,” she says, adding that she was taken to the intensive care unit when she developed breathing difficulties.
She spent three days at the ICU and another two weeks in the general ward.
“I had severe pains in the lower abdomen, and breathing difficulties, forcing me to use an inhaler. The coughs could last for five minutes, while my body swelled whenever I had a meal. I just couldn’t understand what was happening in my body,” says the second-hand shoe-seller, who had to abandon her source of livelihood because of her ill health.
She adds: “After consulting several specialists in Kisumu, a doctor recommended a CT scan and an examination of the lower abdomen.”
Her husband, Mr Bernard Oluoch, says the specialist was reluctant to reveal to them the results of the scan, “but he finally told us there were traces of cotton in the lower abdomen which needed an urgent surgical operation.”
“We went to the referral hospital with the results, and the doctor in charge scheduled the operation after a month, but it is now seven months since my wife started developing these complications,” says Mr Oluoch. The security guard quit his job to take care of his wife and children.
The couple is asking well-wishers to help them get medical attention.
According to the hospital boss, Dr Peter Okoth, the delay in attending to Mrs Oluoch was caused by the need to investigate the case and check the history of the patient.
“We are arranging to have the patient back in the hospital because of the complications that have emerged,” he says.