Rosemary Odinga’s life was saved in China by 10 brilliant surgeons in a 10-hour operation at prestigious Peking University.
ODM leader Raila Odinga has spoken for the first time of how his daughter’s life was saved in China after three months of unsuccessful treatment in South Africa and Israel. Rosemary is partially blind but she can walk and talk.
Raila, the African Union Special Envoy for Infrastructure, on Thursday night described for the first time the family’s battle with Rosemary’s ordeal and the Chinese technology that saved her life.
In an emotional interview on Citizen TV, Raila recalled how a simple scan by a Chinese physical therapist set Rosemary on the path of treatment and healing.
Raila said that had it not been for the Chinese technology, his daughter might not have survived. “The therapist discovered something was not adding up. So he took a scan and discovered an aneurysm, which had burst and was recurring. There was another one next to it and a tumour,” he said.
According to healthline.com, an aneurysm occurs when an artery’s wall weakens and causes an abnormally large bulge. This can rupture and cause internal bleeding.
After the diagnosis, Raila said, the therapist sent the scan for further analysis to Peking University in China. The family was informed that Rosemary’s condition was an emergency and they urgently sent her to Beijing.
“They took two days examining her, then they decided to do a three-in-one operation … about 10 professors…It lasted about 10 hours. By the time they wheeled her out of the theatre, she was conscious and she could talk,” Raila said during the interview at his Opoda home, Siaya county.
He said his daughter stayed in the ICU for three hours before she was transferred to a general ward.
“After six days they removed the stitches… seven days later she was discharged from the ward and put into rehab, where she was discharged three days later,” he said.
Raila said in a span of 12 days after Rosemary was airlifted to China, she had been operated on, rehabilitated, discharged and flown back to Kenya — this time talking and walking.
Initially, he said, the family was thunderstruck in the middle of his presidential campaigns when Rosemary fainted in Naivasha and went into a coma for eight days.
Raila said he was on a flight to Turkana with his other daughter Winnie when she (Winnie) received a text message informing them of the tragedy.
“We had to send her by air ambulance to South Africa where she stayed for three months. Her mother Ida had to take up an apartment in Johannesburg,” he said.
A few weeks ago, Rosemary opened up about her illness that devastated her family and left her partially blind. She said trouble started last year at a workshop for women political aspirants in Naivasha, which she attended with her two daughters. “My head was just aching. I just had headaches,” Rosemary said.
She said that after collapsing in her room, she was airlifted to Nairobi where doctors said she was lucky to be alive. Had she been transported in an ambulance, she may not have made it. “To me it was something new. I had a tumour and two aneurysms. They were able to clip the two aneurysms here in Kenya, but they were unable to get to the tumour,” she had said in an earlier interview.
“Eventually, my friends described a place for treatment. So we went to China where they were able to get to tumour and cut it out. We were lucky it was benign.”
To end speculation on her health condition, Rosemary had said she cannot see with her left eye. “I see mostly from my right eye, but it is half vision. It is foggy. It is like looking through water in a glass. It is hazy. I see things that are very close to me,” she said. The illness forced her to shelve her political ambitions for the Kibra MP seat last year.
Raila, who also spoke about his handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta, asked the Judiciary to support the government efforts to fight corruption and not to be an impediment.
He accused the courts of frustrating the government’s war on corruption by granting lenient bond and bail and allowing accused persons to return to offices. “If somebody is found to have misappropriated something or acted incorrectly, he is interdicted on half pay, no pay or is suspended so that you don’t go to the office,” Raila said.“But here is a case where somebody has already been investigated and evidence found and he has been charged with a criminal offence, but he goes to court and is allowed to go back to the office.”
On his role as the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development, Raila said his duty entails ensuring the interconnection of energy, roads, railways, ICT, as well as air transport throughout the continent.