MILESTONES: What killed Jesse Kahora in Atlanta Georgia?

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Jesse Kahora was born in Kenya in 1976, the son of a pastor and the first-born to his five siblings. He obtained a diploma from Ngenia High School, Limuru and proceeded to Australia where he graduated with an Associate degree in Information Technology.

In 2005, Jesse Kahora migrated to the US on a green card visa. At this time, Jesse was 29 years old and although a very eligible bachelor, he waited until 2009 when he married his long time sweet heart Faith Maina in Kenya.

Since Jesse had married overseas, he filed an Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative with the USCIS. Once approved, his wife was processed for an immigrant visa by the US Embassy, Nairobi to enter the US as a permanent resident.  She joined him by the end of 2012 to start their new life together.

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But as fate would have it, almost 2 years later, in October 2014, Jesse fell sick. He was admitted at Northside Hospital in Forsyth County, north of Atlanta on October 23, 2014. While checking himself into the hospital on that day, Jesse acted and looked as fit as a fiddle short of mild pain complain in the upper abdomen area.

Doctors in two other medical facilities had told Jesse that he was suffering from a gallbladder inflammation. At the time, grapevine wisdom suggested that gallbladder removal was a minor operation that required no lengthy hospitalization.

With this in mind, Jesse was looking forward to the surgical operation, not with trepidation but with relief so that he could resume his job. After-all, he knew many people who had their gallbladder removed and lived normal lives.

At first, it seemed the admitting doctor at the Northside Hospital was not convinced about inflamed gallbladder and hence ordered further tests. Following further consultations, it was decided to remove the gallbladder and on the morning of December 25, 2014 Jesse was operated on.

Later, the surgeon would say that once inside, they noticed  the patient’s liver was agitated. To rule out everything, a biopsy was ordered which, after unusually long delay, confirmed that Jesse was a patient of the Big One, namely liver cancer.

And with that news, Jesse began 2 months of physical, emotional and spiritual roller coaster, between hope and despair that ended on the evening of December 24, when he passed away.

As the shock of his sudden death spread, there was an outpouring of grief and disbelief among the Kenyan Community in Atlanta and elsewhere. His apartment was daily over-flowing with mourners and his church was filled to standing capacity. The closure was a funeral attended by thousands in Kenya.

But many questions remain unanswered. Was Jesse deliberately or inadvertently killed by someone? Did his doctors misdiagnose his sickness by focusing on the gallbladder? Had the cancer been diagnosed during admission, would the doctors still have operated the patient or put him on cancer treatment?

-By LEONARD NJOROGE, ATLANTA – GEORGIA

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