Japhet’s Story

Japhet is a 5-year-old boy who was previously healthy. His family comes from a very poor and remote region of the upper Kerio Valley in Kenya. Their home is about three hours away from the hospital, followed by a 9km walk into the forest. In the past they have lost much of their wealth due to stolen cattle, a common conflict in this area, leaving them with little income in an area that also lacks access to education.

Due to financial constraints, his family brought him to the hospital after having had seizures for four days at home. Upon arrival, he was non-responsive was taking very shallow breathes due to the seizures he’d been having for hours on the 3-hour journey to hospital. 
Japhet on the breathing machine

He was immediately seen by our physicians, who started him on anti-epileptic medication and antibiotics for bacterial menigingitis. It required three anti-epileptic drugs to get Japhet’s seizures to stop. However, despite the seizures stopping, Japhet went into respiratory failure and needed to be intubated and put on a ventilator. This is a life-saving measure that very few hospitals in rural areas would be be able to provide. 

Thankfully, Japhet was able to come off the breathing tube 24 hours later and appeared to be seizure free. However, doctors needed to understand the cause of his seizures and therefore paid for him to go by ambulance to the nearest large town for a CT scan.

The CT results confirmed the doctor’s suspicions of meningitis or an infection around the brain. Doctors performed a lumbar puncture which showed the infection was likely viral. 

Japhet slowly recovering in the pediatric ward, accompanied by his uncle, who came from another town to help care for him

As social work monitored this situation, it became clear this family would not be able to cover the bill that was accumulating. Growing nervous about what he would owe, Japhet’s father suggested mid-treatment he would take Japhet  back to their village for traditional, herbal treatments. He believed Japhet had become sick because he was fed with milk from a cow in another community from a woman who was not good. Our social work team advised them to remain until Japhet recovered.

The family was not aware Kenya offered medical insurance (available at $2/family per month). Even if they did know, their needs are so pressing that it is unlikely they could have afforded it. As cash payers, they needed to pay KSH 5,000 as a deposit, and managed to sell their last sheep to cover it. Instead of putting it towards the bill, social work urged them to use the funds to pay for a year of medical insurance instead.

Though funds provided by our donors, we were able to cover Japhet’s bill of KSH 88,000 ($676). His family continued to express their gratitude for this incredible provision for Japhet’s recovery and care.

Japhet’s father wrote this expression of thanks:

“I thank God for healing my son. I appreciate the doctors of Kapsowar Mission for their efforts of helping my son. Thank to the doctors that paid for CT scan and ambulance to be taken to Eldoret. My whole family is happy for the support from you and donors for paying our medical bill. We appreciate you so much and may almighty God bless you and add more to you to continue helping others.” 

 The generosity of our donors lifted an incredible burden off this family’s shoulders and gave them access to life-saving treatment for their son. It is an act of generosity they will never forget. 

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