Edwin Abonyo: Doctors had revealed That Laboso could not survive
Edwin Abonyo: Doctors had revealed That Laboso could not survive: The family of Bomet Governor Dr Joyce Laboso on Friday revealed how devastated they were after doctors at the Royal Marsden Hospital in the United Kingdom revealed that the governor was not responding to treatment.
“Doctors found that her kidneys were collapsing and her (blood) pressure high, we were informed that she could not survive as the disease was beyond treatment stage,” revealed Dr Laboso’s husband Edwin Abonyo.
Mr Abonyo recalled his last minute attempts to reach out to the country’s top leadership after doctors at the Royal Marsden Hospital made the shocking revelation.
“I was devastated and could not reveal that to most of Joyce’s friends. When I informed William (Deputy President), he said we couldn’t lose hope on her health,” Mr Abonyo said.
DP Ruto said reached out to President Uhuru Kenyatta who recommended Dr Laboso be transferred to India.
Mr Abonyo said doctors at BLK Super Speciality Hospital in India also battled to save his wife’s life in vain. “I knew things had hit the wall in an effort to save Joyce’s life,” Mr Abonyo said.
He disclosed how Dr Laboso battled cancer of the colon for 28 years.
Edwin Abonyo (far right) with his children during the memorial service for Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso at the All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi, on August 1, 2019. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP
“Even as she went in and out of hospitals in Kenya and India, when the disease recurred, she kept her pain and suffering from the public and her closest friends,” he said.
Mr Abonyo said Dr Laboso, whom he married in 1983, was diagnosed with cancer of the colon in 1991.
Last year, when the disease recurred, she was taken to The Nairobi Hospital. She was referred to India three times before going to the UK on May, 29, 2019.
Mr Abonyo revealed that Dr Laboso did not want any sympathy as she battled cancer.
“During a half marathon to raise funds for Universal Health Coverage on February 16, 2019, she was so sick and could only jog over a short distance,” said Mr Abonyo.
He revealed that the governor collapsed during the burial of Mr Kipyegon Kones, son to Bomet East MP Beatrice Kones.
Mr Abonyo said how devastated he was when Dr Laboso was diagnosed with cancer.
“I went through counselling and I was told that she would be treated but (she) had 50-50 chance of survival. Doctors said that even if she overcame it, she would not have more children,” said Mr Abonyo.
He added: “I was so scared that I drove home and told my mother that Joyce was dying. My mother prayed with me and assured me my wife would survive. Dr Laboso went on to live for almost 30 years.”
He said that doctors in the UK discovered that the disease had spread rapidly in the body.
“After the kidney failure, secondary diseases set in. Doctors at Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust Hospital in London, a top cancer referral hospital in London, told us to go home. They said that even if she was operated on, she would not live a quality life,” said Mr Abonyo.
While in India, that the doctors reaffirmed the position by their colleagues in Britain. They recommended she be transferred to The Nairobi Hospital for care.
He said that Dr Laboso had been undergoing both chemotherapy and radiography from last year.
“As a result of what she was going through, she couldn’t fit into her clothes, her hair thinned, she lost weight and her skin changed,” said Mr Abonyo.
Mr Bryan Abonyo, the family’s first born gave a moving tribute on behalf of his siblings.
Bryan said: “Without you mum, who would have come to those visiting days while we were in school? Who would have come to our birth days? Who would have taken care of Marco (son to former assistant Minister Ms Lorna Chepkemoi Laboso) as a mother?”
He stated that he did not know that his mother had been unwell until he left his job in Sidney, Australia, to return to Kenya to be with his family.
“It got to appoint where it was too much to bear as the disease had stripped her of her dignity, but people prayed for her. It got to a point where we told God to heal her, and let her rest if it was not possible,” said Bryan.
At one point Mr Abonyo gave an account of how their love with Dr Laboso began.
“When we met, she was a beautiful woman and I’m told I was a dashing guy… while I am no longer dashing, she is beautiful even as she lies in there (in the coffin)” Mr Abonyo said.
He added, “She used to call me sweetheart and had saved my name as SH (an abbreviation for Sweetheart) … I used to call her love … So rest my love.”
Mr Abonyo said Dr Laboso was not troubled by tribal barriers while choosing her friends, and the same applied when she fell in love with him and accepted his hand in marriage.
Youth and Gender Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Rachel Shebesh said Mr Abonyo and Dr Laboso were a perfect love item.
“You were not only the love of her life, but a husband from heaven,” said Ms Shebesh.
“Brian, you brought love to your mum, Ted the quiet one, but your mum knew your heart, Rono be at peace, she told us to tell you. The family is intact; you will be fine. Minah, you are a reflection of the daughter she did not have,” Mr Abonyo told his children.
Ms Cecily Mbarire, a former MP said Dr Laboso was the glue that kept them together.
“While she was seven years old, she (Dr Laboso) passed out after being stung by bees that has been disturbed by naughty boys while she was on her way home from school,” said Mr Nicholas Kirui, a family representative.
By JUSTUS OCHIENG’ and By VITALIS KIMUTAI