When your baby is in the ICU for 3 years.

What if I remained home that day?

What if I had gotten the damn car seat!

What if I sat on the back seat?

What if I had seen the lorry early enough?

If only Unny could rewind, edit and replay a day in her life, then she could without a doubt lock herself in the editing suite and edit out parts of 10th June 2017. On this day, Unny and her then ten weeks old son Jordel, were in a grisly car accident that left Jordel with a severe spine injury and fighting for his precious life in the ICU.

His first birthday came and passed. The second one came and passed, so did his third birthday. It has been more than three years now, and Unny has come to be accustomed to the sounds and sights of ventilators, monitors, feeding tubes and IV pump. This overwhelming environment and fraught experience have been physically, emotionally and financially draining.

It is noon, Unny has just arrived at the Mater Hospital. If only the hospital corridors could talk then they could give a tale of 100,000 words. She has been walking on these corridors every single day from 2017 to provide emotional support, love, and a familiar voice and touch to Jordel.

Jordel has been discharged from the ICU and is now in the ward en route to home-based care. This is a significant milestone on the road to his recovery. Jordel will be going home soon the home he left three years ago at only ten weeks of age. But there is a problem. Before he is released for the planned home-based care, he has to clear an elephantine bill of over 66 million Kenya Shillings. I humbly come to you my reader with a kind request. Please let us skip lunch just for today to help take Jordel home. Send your lunch, of whichever amount to Paybill number 7476869, account name: Baby Jordel.  M-PESA – 0703 707 536 (Unny Mutune Nyaata – Mama Jordel

Please whisper a prayer for baby Jordel that our good God will perfect his health.

Now some stories like this one, are better told in first-person narrative. Please read on as Unny shares her experience , thoughts and lessons…

3 year-old Jordel

On 10th June 2017, my life changed completely. I have fought demons from within through this journey. To me, this has been a real nightmare the kind that is classic, slow motion, recurrent and scary. I have had to relive it daily. I have had long days with even longer nights I bet because I dreaded each of them.

A normal Saturday turned out to be not so normal. I looked forward to crowning it with giving my little one a warm bath with the hope that he sleeps like the baby he was through the night given he always had other ideas when night came.

I remember screaming as I saw a lorry right in front of us then I could not see a thing I thought this is it. My son was in my arms so as much as I could not see him, I knew something was off he was too quiet. I figured out later that the windscreen had shattered right into my face.

My baby! My baby! I shouted. 

Mtoto ako sawa lakini wewe ndio umeumia (The baby is fine it is you who is hurt), said a good Samaritan.

Funny because I felt no pain. People were shouting all over saying the car had reversed into the bushes. And that is how at only 10weeks old my son found himself in the ICU. It turns out he was not okay after all. Being discharged from hospital and leaving my son there tore me into 1001 pieces.

Happy 2nd birthday Jordel!

I was filled with guilt coupled with anger! How would you feel when you know that your child is laying helpless in ICU and that it should have been you? He took my impact all of it! My body ached so much I could only imagine the magnitude of his aches.  

I was holding him in my arms only for him to save me instead of me saving him. 

Each time I am on the road, it is like am right there all over again standing with my son by the roadside bleeding right into him. Each time someone engages the brakes while driving, I brace myself for impact. I do not know if it will ever go away.

I have hated me for being out here and him in there for all this while. I walked out of that accident only to be in limbo. Then I realized I could pray. I cried to God to heal my son. I waited and waited and waited for that miracle. On realizing God was taking too long to answer, I switched to asking him questions and signs just to understand the WHY. Why my Jordel? The tears never seemed to stop. The thoughts and dreams I have had, in all these I just wanted it to be over. If only it was that easy to run away from everything. 

My son changed me. ICU changed my life. They say everything in life happens for a reason. Honestly, I am yet to find mine.

It has been scary to see those next to my son closing their eyes never to wake up. Could my son be next? I would ask myself. 

This journey may have been long, but the medical team at Mater Hospital, my family, friends who stayed and strangers who became friends made it bearable.

I know accidents are unplanned but they can be avoided. Are you a parent?  Do you have a car seat? if the answer is no, please get one and let your babies always be on it no matter how far or near you are driving to. If you cannot get a car seat, then please seat at the back with your baby buckled up.

I have blamed myself for years please do not be a victim avoid it if you can.

Lastly, are you out there wondering about tomorrow? JUST KEEP SWIMMING…For us, the Journey continues in another dimension altogether.


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