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Pain, grief as woman who delivered quintuplets passes on – VIDEO

Everline Namukhula was an optimistic mother, joyous and looking forward to raising her fragile five babies when she gave birth, preterm, 26 days ago, at Kakamega County Referral Hospital.

No one would imagine that the 28-year-old mother of four other children, would leave her newborns shortly after.

Ms Namukhula from Shisokhe Village in Navakholo died from a complication on Sunday afternoon at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret, where she had already seen life ebb away from two of the five infants who were undergoing special care.

And the three girls left still lie delicately in an incubator, unknown to them what life holds for them without a mother.

On Saturday night, medics told the Nation, the woman had complained of chest pains and persistent headache and was put on an antibiotic and a blood clot test done.

MTRH chief executive Dr Wilson Aruasa on Sunday said the mother suffered pulmonary embolism — a blood clot blocked blood vessel in her lungs.

“This morning, doctors recommended a CT scan to identify the spot of the blood clot. Immediately after the scan, she vomited, started sweating and had difficulty in breathing before collapsing at midday,” Dr Aruasa said.

DEAD ON ARRIVAL

He said the patient was rushed to a semi-intensive care unit, where she was dead on arrival.

“Initial tests confirmed that her heart was enlarged and some fluids had formed around it. We can’t determine what happened. A postmortem examination will confirm that. For now, we can’t say much. Let’s allow the family to grieve” Dr Aruasa told the Nation on phone.

“Doctors are now preparing to do a postmortem and give a full report. We are saddened by her death as she was out of the danger zone, and was getting stronger by the day,” Dr Aruasa added.

The five babies were born on March 10 at Kakamega County Referral Hospital and were referred to MTRH for specialised care, but they developed breathing complications.

They were being fed on breast milk expressed from the mother using cups and spoons.

This is because the mother had been reluctant to breastfeed the babies because of cultural reasons; quintuplets are said to bring bad omen.

Dr Aruasa confirmed that two boys died last week following complications.

SURVIVING BABIES

“The remaining three girls are doing well and under special attention by our nurses,” Dr Aruasa said.

Ms Namukhula is survived by her husband, Mr Emmanuel Wanjala, who is deaf and fends for the family by doing odd jobs in the village.

Ms Eveline Mvungu, the nursery manager of the newborn unit, said, the babies and their mother would have stayed in hospital for the next two or three months.

Ms Namukhula had been undergoing physiotherapy to support her to walk, after losing a lot of blood while giving birth.

Dr Philip Kirwa, who is the Director of Reproductive Health at the maternity wing, said they had put the survival chances of the quintuplets at 50-70 per cent.

He said the lightest baby weighed 820 grammes while the heaviest was 1.4kg at birth.

“We’ve been supporting their breathing through a ventilator. We are also expanding their lungs to ensure they breathe properly,” Dr Kirwa said.

Reported by Wycliff Kipsang’, Edith Chepngeno and Benson Amadala