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A FATHER’S TALE

KNH, My Wife, My Job

“So you want me to leave my wife here and come to work for you?,”an utterly bitter young man sited next to me at the Kenyatta Labour Ward says. He looks 24 or maybe 25, not older than that and I can tell the person on the other end is his boss. “Wewe nilipe pesa yangu na usifanyie mwingine hivyo (Pay me my money and don’t do that to anyone else)

It had been a ‘Black Friday’ for me. Nothing had gone right that day from getting an emergency call from the hospital to being referred to Kenyatta National Hospital to our car stalling while we were rushing to KNH. Kenyatta had been the last place I had wanted to be owing to its ‘bad cv’, and sitting down I had thought my life was crumbling.

“What did he want me to do?” he turns to me with watery eyes. I can tell he needs someone to open to and though we barely know each other I give him a listening ear. “Did he expect me to leave my wife here and go to work? What does he think I am?”

David Barasa was his name as I later came to know. He had rushed his expectant wife to Mbagathi hospital on Wednesday and referred to Kenyatta the same day. Seeing that he had never been to Kenyatta, it took his wife two days to get a scan after which the doctor recommended a CS.

As he opens his heart I learn of a young man who is eager to be a father. Since Wednesday he has been here only leaving in the morning to freshen and coming back at noon. There are many people like him who sleep at the KNH casualty area just to make sure that any moment they are called upon they are there.

When I meet David the next day, he looks cheerful though his eyes betray days of not sleeping. “We have named him Lucky (Bahati) because only God knows how lucky we are. I am even out of words to explain how happy I am.”

From here, David and his family will go back to their house in Pipeline to start afresh. He does not want to think about losing a job or not knowing what next. For now his focus is his son Lucky.

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