Radio Presenter’s painful struggle with Cancer and Sickle Cell Anaemia

His is a story of pain, anguish and perseverance

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By Claret Adhiambo

Edgar Ogutu, Radio presenter at Ghetto Radio

On the 9th of October at exactly 1.30 PM Edgar Ogutu received a chilling call from his wife’s doctor at the Nairobi Hospital.

The doctor told him to take his three children to the hospital and also ensure that his mother in law accompanies them to the hospital.

He felt weak, his body remained numb and  for a few minutes he could not breath.

His wife who is suffering fro Leukemia had been admitted at the hospital for 21 days. His four year old son Kinta Kunte who has Sickle cell Anaemia had just been discharged from the hospital after suffering an attack.

“Why is the doctor asking me to take my children to the hospital? What could have happened to Lilian that would make the doctor want my mother in law and children in the hospital at the same time? He asked himself.

Upon arrival at the hospital, he was told his wife had slipped into a comma, blood was oozing from almost all the openings in her body including the nose.

His wife was resisting treatment, the doctors told him.They had called him and his children to have the last glance at their mother before she died.

“They had called us to the hospital to prepare us for any eventuality. From what i gathered on that day, the doctors knew that Lilian was not going to make it,” he narrates with a shaking voice.

According to Ogutu, the doctors had only given his wife 60 days to survive. Miraculously his wife woke up from the coma. And was discharged on week later.

Ogutu’s wife Lilian Akinyi was diagnosed with Leukemia four years ago after a series of misdiagnosis.

Leukemia is a cancer of blood cells and therefore sometimes referred to as blood cancer.

While the exact causes of Leukemia are not known, risk factors have been identified, including radiation, exposure, certain chemotherapy for cancer, smoking, family history of leukemia and exposure to certain chemicals such as benzene.

Since the diagnosis his wife has been on and off the hospital. At some point she would be admitted at the same time in the same hospital with their seven year old son Kinta Kunte who has sickle cell anaemia.

This has in turn resulted to putting a huge financial strain to the family.

Ogutu a radio presenter at Ghetto Radio has exhausted the medical cover the company (Ghetto Radio) has given him.

“By the time they discharged her, the hospital bill had rise to Ksh. 1 million. My  friend from the UK had to leave her passport and other documents in order to secure her release because i did not have the money,” he says.

The hospital’s management however gave her 45 days to clear the Ksh. 1 million bill or else they take action against him.

He is now appealling to wellwishers to help him raise the Ksh. 1 million to help him settle the bill as well as help his son Kunte who has Sickle Cell Anaemia get a bone marrow transplant to prevent the attacks.

“The attacks are so painful, that make him unable to stand or even move because the pain is felt in bones, not the skin,” he says.