Kenyan couple in TX loses 6 year old daughter after 11 frantic months in the US
MCKINNEY, TX: When Martin Wahome and his wife Sabina, won a Green Card in 2012, they were excited about the opportunities that lay ahead of them. They now had a chance to better their lives in the US and possibly live the American dream.
More importantly, this was extra special for the Wahomes as this also gave them hope that the health of their daughter Joy Njeri Wahome would now turn for the better with superior medical facilities.
Joy who was four years old at the time had developed serious health issues after contracting Meningitis at only 6 months which was unfortunately misdiagnosed at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
She spent one month in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
As she lay admitted at the facility, she developed significant brain damage and swelling of the brain. She developed Hydrocephalus which is a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. The fluid normally functions to cushion the brain but in this case, it was excessive.
This unfortunate development caused havoc on Joy’s physical and mental development. She lost her speech, sight and her ability to move.
Joy who was born on October 8, 2008 had been in and out of hospital in Kenya as she suffered a spate of complications.
Needless to say, winning the Diversity Visa lottery gave the Wahomes’ hope that finally, their daughter’s pain as well as theirs would soon come to an end.
In December 2013, the Wahome’s left Mombasa for the United States with Joy and their new born daughter Kate Wanjiru. They looked forward to the reversal of fortunes.
On arrival in the US, the Wahome’s continued to seek medical attention for Joy. They quickly found out that things were not as easy as they originally thought.
When Joy’s primary physician assessed her, she recommended a personal nurse. The nurse would be provided for by Medicaid. The Wahome’s were relieved and they felt that at least they would have a professional helping to taking care of Joy as they worked.
However, their joy was short lived.
Their application for a nurse through Medicaid was denied. They were devastated. They did not quite understand and never really got a reason for the denial.
As if that was not all, they received more crushing news which no parent would ever want to hear.
“Your daughter has serious breathing problems and at this stage, she will sleep one day and never wake up,” a doctor told them while informing the distraught parents that their daughter had Apnea which a breathing problem where there is constant stops and starts in breathing that can be fatal.
Suddenly their hope of seeing their daughter recover was being tested in ways unimaginable. Their hopes of seeing their daughter playing with other kids dwindled by the day. Their hopes of having sing along and chatty conversations with Joy were fading. Yet, they had unspoken conversations and heartfelt moments with her that only them could have. This is not how they envisioned life after moving to the US. Their daughter was supposed to get better not turn for the worse.
The new developments meant that they would have to spend more time with Joy since they could not get a nurse. This meant that the family could not take advantage of various work opportunities as they knew Joy needed them almost all the time. All they knew was that they had to make it work.
Needless to say the family struggled mightily financially as they tried to juggle work life and taking care of Joy.
Unfortunately, more setbacks followed. The family tried to secure an oxygen machine through Medicaid to help Joy with her breathing. The application for the machine was also denied. The reason they received for the denial was that their daughter was not mentally alert.
“This on top of other setbacks we had undergone, was painful,” Martin told Jambonewspot.com. “We really struggled with all this.”
Martin and his wife who are barely in the US for a year suddenly realized, what they thought could be in the US was not.
Then came, Monday November 4th, 2014. Martin arrived home from his overnight shift and was to spend time with Joy. His wife had gone to work. He did not go to bed which is his usual routine after work as Joy was to have her physical and speech therapy in an hour’s time. After therapy, Martin held her daughter for a while and after a while, he placed her in her bed at about 2pm. They both napped. He woke up at around 4pm and checked on her and she was okay. Martin went back to his nap. However, about 40 minutes later, he woke up and checked on Joy again. This time, she was in distress and she struggled to breath. Martin swung into action administering CPR. He called the paramedics as well. They came in and they started attending to her.
They then rushed her to McKinney Medical Center where she was however pronounced dead on arrival.
Martin and Sabina are now trying to make arrangements for their daughter’s final journey.
They have only been in the US for 11 months and barely know a lot of Kenyans. They are in need of the community’s support at what we do best. Rally around our people and standing with them in times when they need us most. They are still coming to terms with the loss of a loved one, they still have a difficult task of really settling in the US which has been somewhat difficult for the last 11 months.
Meetings are being held at the couple’s residence at 3300 North McDonald St, #634, McKinney, TX 75071 from 6pm and if you have time to pass by an offer your support, it will be greatly appreciated.
If you are unable to make it and you would want to support them financially, you can do so through:
Account Name: Baby Joy Wahome Memorial Fund
Account No. 2395432632
Routing No. 111900659
Bank Name: Wellsfargo
You can also donate through this link.. http://www.gofundme.com/BabyJoyWahomeFund
Rest in Peace Joy, Rest in Peace. 10/8/2008 to 11/4/2014
For more information, kindly reach out to:
Daniel Ndogo 469-340-9052
Kate (Sabina’s Sister) 254-421-7502
Deejay Steve Rabaky-940-765-8303
Pastor Samson Muniu (Victory Chapel)
The memorial service will be held this SUNDAY 11/9/2014 at Victory Chapel Dallas 13515 Method St, Dallas, TX 75243 from 3PM. Burial date will be updated later on.