A new ray of hope

A story of Mary Anne Muthoni

Maryanne was born one and half months before time, and only two months into her young life she was separated from her mum who had to leave for Dubai to work. Maryanne had to be left under the care of her grandmother, Grace.

All was well until her family discovered she had cerebral palsy which wasn’t detected during birth. Her life took a different turn after she was diagnosed with Cerebral palsy and had to be enrolled for therapy at Kiambu General Hospital, the same place where she was born. Therapy improved Maryanne’s condition but this wasn’t to last long. She left her grandmother’s and went to live with her father.

Her growth curve started reversing prompting for a further checkup at Gertrude’s Hospital where the family was strictly instructed to take good care of her as she could lead a normal life if given proper care. The family later learnt that her health deteriorated as Maryanne never got a chance to interact with other children. She spent most of her time locked up in a house alone.

There were days she was left unattended in a goat’s shed. Her relocation upcountry reversed all the milestones Maryanne had made. She lost weight, stopped crawling and even stopped talking. Initially, Maryanne could talk, walk and communicate. She could also pick up objects and her posture was good. All these are now gone and Maryanne is back to the drawing board again.

Fireside Group resolved to donate a cerebral palsy wheelchair to Mary Anne. With the wheelchair, Mary Ann's mobility has greatly increased and it is now easier for her family to take her to therapy.

A story of Kyalo Maseki

Kyalo who’s now a teenager doesn’t know what breast milk tastes like. He never sucked or cried when he was born. Well, these were signs that all wasn’t well. A few days after he was born he started experiencing convulsions. His condition remained a mystery for a while as Kyalo’s mother never had any complications during delivery. She wasn’t informed of anything else other than her son’s feeble limbs after delivery.

Despite their fruitless search for help, the family never got enough information on Kyalo’s condition and was only advised to enroll him to a special school in Kitui. Kyalo’s left arm is functional and strong enough to hold objects but the other limbs are feeble. He can sit upright, can hear and can feed himself using one arm. His biggest challenge is that he cannot talk, stand, or walk. He used to go for therapy but stopped two years ago due to financial constraints. Fireside Group has intervened in the boy's situation, donating a wheelchair to improve his mobility and quality of life.

A story of Hope Kimani (deceased)

Hope's mum is a mother of three, she had four children but the second-born passed on after a severe pneumonia attack occasioned by cerebral palsy at the age of seven. Except for the first child who is now nine years old all her other children are palsied. She also has a toddler, Valentine, who is also palsied but not as severe as Hope. According to medical experts at Kijabe hospital, Nancy and her husband have recessive genes associated with cerebral palsy no wonder their children are born this way.

Nancy was forced to quit her employment to take care of her children. Hope was the third-born of the family and was born with the condition. Hope had challenges in coordination and her body and limbs are stiff. She could not sit upright since she had a weak spinal cord. Hope’s mother greatest wish was that Hope would get the opportunity to interact with other children. Fireside Group granted the family this wish by donating a wheelchair to Hope, and she was able to maneuver outdoors and interact with her peers. Fireside Group takes comfort in the fact that although Hope passed away in 2018, we gave her a chance to enjoy her childhood, short as it was.