Survivor: A Tribute (Part 3)

The following events took place between the morning of 12th December 2008 and 21st December 2008. I will be honest and tell you that I do not have the precise dates for most of the events that I narrate on this post. Sometimes I wish I kept a journal, sometimes I’m glad I did not. For human beings to survive, and remain sane the mind has a self-healing mechanism that deletes extremely painful memories, well atleast the exactitude. Hence I will share these events the way I remember them sans the dates.

Right after sinking, my typical day became waking up, heading to the hospital, watching my brother-Dandara in his comatose state, us guys trying to eat, showing very scared friends and relatives inside the ICU to see my brother, hoping, crying… etc. Minutes turned into hours, hours into days and soon, it was three or so days yet he still hadn’t woken up. Let me tell you, if you thought Facebook was dynamic, you ain’t seen the ICU. That place is dynamic, the end! I mean, in the morning, there are five patients, at noon time only two are alive, at six in the evening, the whole ICU is empty. You don’t want to stay near an ICU. Yet it became our hang out. My Dad, sister and I. Everyday.

After seeing all the weird things we saw on our very first three days at the ICU, our hope soon turned into some sort of acceptance. I particularly recall the three of us sitting at a restaurant and sharing very deep thoughts. The short and short of it was, it was better for Dandara to rest. Before I say what I want to say, allow me to explain something. I have a very strong Christian upbringing. One that has me firmly rooted in the belief that there is life after death. And that for one to have a wonderful after life, you know, like heaven? one must put their house in order before they die.

I developed a sense of urgency to have my brother in some state of consciousness, because I really needed to talk to him about *his* life after death. I stopped praying for my brother to get healed and focused more on praying for him to wake up, so that we could discuss the aforementioned issues. There is a God! Because on 16th of December 2008, my brother woke up and I got the opportunity to discuss all the above things. It is on this day, that he gave his life to Jesus Christ. What you and I both refer to as getting saved. This is one thing that I will celebrate till the day that I die. It is here that I take a moment of silence.

When I said he woke up (earlier), I meant a mere state of consciousness. He still could not talk because he was on a life support machine called a ventilator. This is what aided him to breathe. But let me tell you, my brother had the most amazing smile in the world. I digress. We soon developed a new way of communication. The green writing pad. He would write his thoughts down and we would talk to him verbally.

I would do this post injustice if I failed to mention the amazing people that stayed with us throughout those days. Our friends, relatives, acquaintances even strangers were extremely supportive. By the time we were getting to around 20th December 2008, things had completely changed for us as a family. The bills at the ICU were atrocious to say the least! We were already at 1.5 million shillings deep in debt and counting. Please take note that terminal illnesses (well at least to the best of my knowledge) are not covered by insurance. Before long the finance department at the hospital was sending us letters full of unkind words suggesting that we take our patient to errr… more affordable hospitals such as Kenyatta Hospital which they added were more within our range. But God made a way. Anyway.

Then began our ride in the proverbial emotional rollercoaster. We would leave my brother okay in the evening find him completely different in the morning. This is what happened between 18th December 2010 and 21st December 2010. On 21st December 2010 (a Sunday) we went to hospital as usual. Found my brother asleep, and he slept the whole day. Or was he unconscious? So, a friend of ours offered to take us out, by this time we were looking half dead ourselves so that he could cheer us up. Along with some other friends, who had also become part of our household by virtue of spending the same amount of hours at the hospital as us, we headed out to BrackenHurst (sp?) for lunch and set back just in time to find Dandara awake, minus the stupid pipe in his mouth. What’s even more amazing was the fact that it was his birthday. That was a lovely day.

I have deliberately left out the parts where we used to get doctors’ briefings. The doctors ranged from angels to assholes. Pardon my french. There is a doctor who once told us my brother had 24 hours to live and in the most inhumane way. The fact that he had the ugliest shrubby accent didn’t help matters. Anywho, on this day, Dandara’s Haematologist (look it up, it’s a type of a doctor) informed us, that it was time to wean Dandara out of the ventilator. I did not know that the word wean could have such a traumatizing effect. Catch that story on the 4th part of my tribute.

Incase you are wondering, Dr. Shrubby Naysayer’s prophecy did not come true well atleast not immediately. Dandara lived many more days after his prophecy of doom. At the risk of sounding corny, I will *still* say this. My brother was a survivor!

Yeah, I just said that!

    • stevekitots
    • December 28th, 2010

    this was quite a deep read…

    • irungu
    • December 29th, 2010

    You celebrate his life , for he gave his life to Christ , he is in a better place.

  1. Concerning your brain activity, was it fuzzy or clear while undergoing the experience? And among the things he wrote, was there a reference to light any kind or color? Forgive my lack of politeness.

    • I can’t recall. The body has a way of protecting itself. It did, that is why I am alive today. No, he did not see the proverbial white light.

  2. The reason my heart breaks a little every time I read this Tribute is because I see the face of my brothers, who I love with all I’ve got and cannot imagine what I’d do if anything happened to them. I’m sorry for what you’ve had to go through. May God give you strength.

    • There. Someone finally got it. Losing a sibling is the hardest thing EVER! God’s grace continues, thanks dear.

  3. i agree with irungu…celebrate his life. Always. God takes care of us all. Have a blessed new year

    • magaribina
    • January 4th, 2011

    Tears in my eyes as I read these. This is a heart-breaking story

  4. So sorry you went through this experience. I don’t think I’d be able to talk about it like you’ve done.

  5. So so sad. It’s good that you can now share.

  6. I rejoice in the fact that God WOKE HIM UP to hear His Word and save His soul. Words cannot describe how awed by that fact I am right now. What a comfort, what a joy divine!

  1. December 28th, 2010

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