transplant coming soon.
By Macharia gakuru
Last week I had a very nice dream. I was swimming in River Ragati in Karatina, central Kenya very
near the village of Giakaibei. My old boy and school friends had just finished fishing a
famous fish called ‘Gateru,’ famous for its two long beard like look.
We had just eaten our catch by roasting on fire lit in tinned banners
called ‘nugi’ that were very effective when it was cold as we grazed
the goats just by the banks of the river Ragati.
We then unclothed stuck naked as the day we were born and jumped in
the rivers to swim. As I came up in the water as I gulp for air I
woke up. I looked at the wall clock. I was late for work and drawing
the curtains it was raining heavily.
I was so disappointed to find that I was still in the UK and I was
going out in the rain leaving the comfort of my bed and the beautiful
dream of my youth when everything worked with no care in the world.
But that dream of us fishing was not true. The dream that had become
true two years this May 2011 is that for patients with end kidney
failure there is a chance for them to live again a normal life as the
dialysis unit at Kikuyu PCEA Hospital is now open with Ultra modern
haemodialysis machines from one of the best dialysis manufactures –
Fresenius of Germany.
I was in the Frisk ward at Kings College Hospital Denmark Hill in May
2008. Nobody knew what was to come of me. In fact with all the
monitoring available in this private room I was to visitors I must say
probably they felt there were chances I was to live or die. And in any
case who knows, when you are admitted in a hospital you may live or
your health may deteriorate and die.
The evening came and as it is at the moment the Deputy Secretary
General of PCEA Rev Francis Njoroge was in town. Him accompanied with
Rev Kibathi came to see me and say a word of prayer. This was just the
beginning of a transformation to my second life. For the next one year
I was to be on dialysis as my kidney had totally failed to clean my
I did not recognise then what was the magnitude of this ‘Tornado’ or
if you like ‘Tsunami’ that had hit me. It swept away all I liked and
wanted to be. What I valued and stood for and in brought a new dawn, a new me.
It is only now two years on that I look back and see the extent of
what could have gone wrong and appreciate the changes that have come
or I find deep in me that I realise I am not the same person that was.
Coming to think of it, many in Kenya and more so East Africa, among
the poor or even well up if you have kidney failure you will die. You
will have a slow death which may last about a month. You with swell
your feet in fluid and finally you will drown in your own fluids and
toxic waste with a total organs failure. Then a sudden death!
Then the gossip will fill the air. Some will say he was killed by
AIDS other he was bewitched while a some of Christians will point to
a book that I have written ‘Deya and the Miracle Babies.’ They will
quote the bible verses and say, ‘Macharia wa Gakuru was punished by
God.’ Some may pride in this but man is not God. Men and women the
power of life and death is not in our hands.
The family will mourn for months and my children will grow without
their birth father, Friends will mourn and keep me in their short
memory before as many others before have come and gone. Thank God
that this was not me. My kidney failure meant life to many kidney
patients even long after i am buried and for this i am grateful to
As I sat on the bed at the end of Frisk ward in the first floor at
Kings Hospital I did not see the seriousness of kidney failure.
Then the consultant explained, ‘you have a renal failure and it means
for the rest of your life you have to e on dialysis unless you get a
kidney donor. This is a long way off even if you have a donor today
there is a medical process to follow.’
‘What do you mean doctor?’ I asked her.
‘It means each week you will have to come to the hospital there times
to have your blood cleaned by an external mechanical kidney if you
have to live.’
This still to me did not register as being a serious issue of life and
death. I looked around and from nowhere a thought came, ‘Doctor I
know what I can do with this!’ I exclaimed confidently as though
nothing serious had happened to me, ‘I can help many in Kenya who do
not have the medical privileges that I do have. I can help establish
dialysis Units in East Africa.’
‘Look you have to look after yourself first before anyone else then
when you are well you can help others,’ she replied expressing her
position that probably I did not realise what kidney failure meant.
When I left the hospital I scaled down my work and found a lot of time
in my hands. I wrote hundreds of letter asking for donations for
dialysis machines. I could not get a breakthrough. I wrote also to the
Minister of health in Kenya Professor Anyang Nyongo expressing my
desire and asking if I could help.
I with a group of good friend Dr Antony Githari and a few others who I
am grateful for their contribution were given the first breakthrough
by the good professor. He wrote to us giving us eight provincial
hospitals to equip with dialysis machines. Unfortunately he went quite
following the ministry’s bureaucracy.
It was Rev Njoroge the man who prayed for me that a breakthrough came.
By then the Germany company had listened to my story and the proposal
we had and they were willing to act on it. Kikuyu PCEA Hospital was
willing to accept to have the machines.
As the dream was to run the dialysis units all over east Africa for
free, this dream will happen. Rome was not build in a day. Just as
people are getting more aware and interested in good health, the
government is also putting some effort in making health affordable
through the NHIF.
But we want Kikuyu PCEA Hospital dialysis unit to be equally as good as
its eye clinic and other services that are offered at the hospital
which are know all over the East Africa region.
I am confident in saying that the Kidney patients in Kikuyu hospital
with have an added service. With the help and support of the Moderator
Rev Njoroge and the management board of the Kikuyu PCEA hospital God
had been kind to us. They made my dream come true. And not just that,
we are in discussion with willing partners here in the UK - surgeons,
and medical professions to have kidney transplants in the hospital for
free in the coming months. In fact this will happen as the hospital
has already prepared and modernised its ICU, theatres and also the
Please it is our time to give back to our communities where we came
from. Kenya is changing and changing first. If you are in your holiday
why not visit the school near you or even your former school and
inspire the children, why not visit the hospital and buy a blood
pressure machine for them or even a children’s home near you? Do your
bit to change the life’s around you.
Finally my second life has been the best and the most a wonderful time
I have ever had. God took all I cared for away. I enjoy what I do, how
I do it and I worry less, careless even when things do not go
according to my expectation. Life is for living, enjoy it.
On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 12:58 PM, bethuel mwaura
To you all great dads
----- Forwarded Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 5:41 AM
Subject: UCB Word For Today - Characteristics of a Great Dad (1)
Help us to send The Word for Today
to more people
15 Jun 2011
Characteristics of a Great Dad (1)
...we loved you so much... 1 Thessalonians 2:8
Becoming a great dad calls for a man having a close relationship with his heavenly Father. Applying the principles Paul used when fathering his spiritual children can equip you to become a great dad. Speaking to his 'children,' Paul demonstrates the warmth of a mother and the muscle of a father (see 1 Thessalonians 2:7-11). For the next few days, let's observe some of Paul's fathering principles: Making them feel loved. 'We loved you so much.' Paul chose a seldom-used Greek word for love, not the usual word for unconditional love or brotherly affection. The word he used meant a strong, warm, spontaneous magnetism-an endearing term used normally with a very young child. Why would Paul speak this way to adults? Because the need to be loved is one we never outgrow! He wanted them to feel loved. The Bible says: '...the greatest of these is love' (1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV). Dad, more than anything else, that is what your children need from you and it doesn't have a thing to do with their age; they need it as much in adulthood as they did in childhood. Your adolescent will probably cringe if you're affectionate with them around their peers, but deep inside they'll appreciate it. And it has nothing to do with their gender. Both sexes need to feel loved. Your teenage daughter is likely to return your hugs and words, while your teenage son will probably roll his eyes and grunt inarticulately. Love them anyhow, until they're old enough to tell you how good it felt!
Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 21-23; Mark 14:1-11; Ps 73:1-16; Pr 13:17-19;