Kenya: Paul Ngei's Family Appeals for Funds for Great Grandchild's Heart Surgery

27 November 2020

The family of freedom hero Paul Ngei is in urgent need of funds to enable a great granddaughter of the former Cabinet minister to undergo a heart surgery in India.

Baby Petra Nthenya Soila, who will be turning four in January, was diagnosed with Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) and Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) with pulmonary hypertension (two holes in the heart) in January this year.

Doctors have recommended an open-heart surgery at MIOT Centre for Children's Cardiac Care in India.

Petra's grandmother, Ms Ruth Nthenya Ngei, a daughter of the late Ngei, says the family needs Sh2 million to cater for the delicate medical procedure in India.

Ms Nthenya said doctors recommended that her ailing granddaughter should leave the country before December 3, 2020, for the surgery.

Open heart surgery

"We have spent the past few months trying to raise money, and we have received a few donations from well-wishers, but what we have received is not enough," she said.

The little girl's grandmother also expressed fear that they could run out of time if they don't raise the funds soon.

"With the symptoms the baby has experienced the last few weeks, we don't know if we can wait any longer. Time is of the essence at this point," she said.

A Paediatric Cardiologist at Kenyatta National Hospital, Dr Naomi Gachara, who is attending to the young girl, says: "Due to the severity of the pulmonary pressures, we do not have the setting for the same Open-Heart Surgery in Kenya."

Petra, who is severely underweight because of her condition, depends on supplements for her diet, which the family says is expensive.

The surgery is expected to help her lead a normal life and start going to school.

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