May 4, 2011 – On social media giant TWITTER today, you may have noticed a new trend #TeamBritish in the Nairobi region. #TeamBritish was started by British’s daughter (Ng’endo) in hopes of raising awareness and funds for British’s failing health.
#TeamBritish is an example of how social media can impact lives positively and when used with the right intentions, can become a very powerful medium.
Entitled “British’s surgery” and published on May 3rd, thousands have since come across British’s daughter blog entry that shares her experience as the youngest of her 4 siblings taking care of her elderly mother.
Please see the following repost of this young lady’s strength and courage. If you would like to help, please see details below.
I was recently interviewed by MoneyAcademy.co.ke after one of the writers read my blog and asked me to share my story of taking care of an elderly person (my mother) without any health insurance. So I kinda just edited the interview and added a few things here and there. The writer is Brenda Wambui. All credits to her, Saiton and the whole MoneyAcademy.co.ke who have agreed for me to use their article. The article will be uploaded today and I’m sure it’s well packaged more than what you’re about to read.
I am is the last born in a family of 4 siblings and I have been taking care of my mother since her health started failing.
My mother, British, is 70 years old, and has faced a number of health problems. She has severe arthritis; she has kidney problems and has suffered two strokes. She has also had her right leg amputated twice and now she is due for ankle replacement surgery…again.
British’s problems began in 2000, when she had to have a knee replacement surgery due to arthritis. Luckily, it was sponsored by American doctors, so my family did not feel the financial strain. Later on, in 2002, she had to have an ankle replacement surgery, yet again as a result of the arthritis. This set my family and I back by Sh. 120,000. My siblings and I pulled together to raise the money.
In 2008, British had her leg amputated because of gangrene. At this time, I was out of the country, as were the rest of my siblings. This cost Sh. 150,000. Unfortunately, the doctor did a rush job and wound opened leading to the leg getting infected and this lead to a second amputation. This cost usy Sh. 80,000. Fortunately, though, it was final.
In January 2010, she suffered a stroke due to hypertension, but she completely recovered from it. A year later, in January 2011, she suffered a second stroke, which was more severe than the first one.
My family and I have shouldered the impact of our mother’s illness, financial and otherwise. No health insurance firm is willing to insure British due to her age and her health status. As a result, we resorted to paying NHIF contributions so as to cater for her health needs. The contribution is Sh. 160 a month, and we have made these contributions 10 times in the past year. This has helped us a great deal!
British also visits the doctor once a month because of her kidney problems. This costs us Sh. 2,000 a visit and Ksh. 3,000 for tests to be done. The medicine she takes costs us anything from Sh. 5,000 to Sh. 10,000 a month.
British’s ankle surgery was also not successful, leading to frequent intense pain due to friction in the ankle replacement. British often wakes up screaming and crying because the ‘screw’s that were inserted on her ankle have all disjointed due to limited movement of the limb. The surgery she is due for will remove the screws and she will have an implant which will hold the bones together. It’s a pretty sensitive surgery.
We had to hire 2 homecare nurses and a helper to give British round the clock care. This costs us Sh. 80,000 a month. We have also had to work with a nutritionist who is also another expense but has helped my Mum a great deal by putting together an amazing diet that has seen Mum’s kidney’s and health general improve.
British is a very funny person and for those who have met her can testify her ever positive attitude and zany personality, but at times all these issues weigh the both of us down. British recently lost one of her best friends, and this has dampened her disposition as she feels like she is alone and that she may be next.
After talking to the surgeon, the total cost of the surgery amount to almost Ksh. 500, 000.
God has given me such peace and I know we will raise this amount…somehow! Big up to my Twitter and Facebook friends who are doing such an amazing fundraising job…we are forever indebted!
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