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The pain of losing a daughter, the agony of not being able to bury her

I just watched an interview of Bobby Stewart Onyango on NTV’s Better Living with Kobi Kihara and my heart sunk – almost quite literally.

I remember his words on Facebook, still so fresh in my mind because I could relate to one part of it;

“No parent should ever bury a child but worse still no parent should ever be in a position of not being able to bury their child.”

I can relate to the part that says no parent should ever bury their child because I know how it feels from experience – it’s tough, the dictionary does not have the right adjectives to describe what a parent who has lost their child feels like. Add to that, this parent that has already lost a daughter who has been unwell for so long but can’t lay her to rest so that they can grieve in peace. The hospital is holding onto the body because of a Ksh. 7.2 million bill that they have no idea where it’s going to come from.

Tamika, Bobby’s daughter has been sick for a long time. In 2015 she underwent a liver transplant in India that costed about Ksh. 8 million, that is before you factor in the local treatment she had here before being taken to India.

The transplant went on well, she recovered and even resumed school but a relapse while undergoing checkup at Nairobi Hospital would have her admitted at the ICU for weeks on end. Even then the family had to part with about Ksh. 800,000 every week to keep her treatment going on.

This is the story of a family that has done everything in their power to keep their daughter alive.

Let me tell you something about the Stewarts. Bob is an ordinary guy, not one of the rich people who can afford expensive treatment at the Nairobi Hospitals of this world. He lives in Kisumu and runs a modest business – a hard worker by all means. When her daughter became sick, he threw into her treatment all he could. He doesn’t say it but you and me can imagine even the business has taken a toll. That though is not his greatest concern, they just wants an opportunity to be able to move on – they want closure. Something that only happens when you lay your loved one to rest.

As we speak, a bill of Ksh. 7.2 million is still standing between the Stewarts and their closure. We can help them get this closure by coming together the way only Kenyans come. We have done this before for people we did not know just because we were touched by their pain – we did it for Jadudi, we did it for Tamika before when she was going to India and we can do it one last time for her, so that her parents can find closure and so that her body can finally lay in peace – trust me there is no peace in a cold mortuary slab.

No amount is too small, all you need to do is go on MPESA and enter paybill number 891300, account name: Tamika – put in any amount your heart feels like and when done share the MChanga Confirmation on social media using the hashtag #IstandWithTamika.

If you are outside Kenya you too can contribute by following this link:

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