Radio boss Jeridah Andayi opens up on losing her daughter

Jeridah Andayi

Radio host Jeridah Andayi.

Photo credit: Courtesy | Jeridah Andayi | Facebook

Renowned media personality Jeridah Andayi knows too well the pain of losing a child. And despite the loss, 14 years later, her second child is still very much a part of the family.

“I lost my second baby when she was two years four months in 2008,” the radio maestro, a mother of four children, says. “If she lived, she would be 16 today. But I still deliberately make her part of the family. As my two daughters know, they are not the eldest of my daughters,” she said on Citizen TV's YouTube page.

Her firstborn son was four years old when his sister died and could not comprehend what was happening, Ms. Andayi says.

The Royal Media Services (RMS) radio presenter adds that her children still ask questions about their sister’s death.

“I got into RMS in 2004, then got this child in 2006 then she died in 2008. I think the most difficult thing about me losing my child is that I’m not sure whether I did everything to save her life.

“Sometimes I feel like, did I fail my own child? Is there anything else I could have done to keep her alive?”

Ms Andayi says it was a difficult time and “It just happened so fast. She was unwell; then we went to the hospital then they say she needs to be admitted. So we put her in an ambulance and rushed to the hospital for her admission.”

“The ambulance had a head on collision with another car that did not give way despite the siren and my child’s head hit the wall of the ambulance and everything stopped.”

She, however, did not notice the injury because the baby was asleep at the time of the accident.

The driver and the medic got out of the vehicle to check the magnitude of the accident and then came to the back to check on her and her daughter.

“I heard the medic tell the driver, ‘We have to go! We have to go! Let him (the other driver of the car that caused the accident) be,” Ms Andayi recalls.

The medic then took the baby off her hands and administered oxygen to her. 

“It happened so fast. By the time we got to the hospital, the child was technically dead. They resuscitated her for like an hour. I tried to get in, but the doctors refused because it was an emergency room, but when I persisted, they let me in.”

The doctors then asked Ms Andayi about the whereabouts of the child’s father, whom she called and he came over fast.

“She talked to us and said ‘your daughter has come back to life but I am sorry she is technically dead’ and her real words were she is a cabbage.”

At the time, reality had not hit and she didn’t seem to understand what the doctor was saying, Ms Andayi said. “She (the doctor) said we could take this child to ICU or we can let her go ‘cause even if she comes back to life she is never going to be the same again. She is brain dead.”

The radio presenter agreed to take her daughter to ICU for seven days and watched her die slowly during those seven days. “She didn’t get better, and she kept going down and down. And the pain of sitting with your child every day, holding her hand, touching her, and asking questions. That pain is on another level.”

On the day her daughter stopped breathing, a team of doctors came and talked to her. “Every one of them was giving a report, and they said there was nothing they could do as even the machines were not working,” Ms Andayi recalls.

She then asked the doctor what she would do if she were in her shoes, to which the doctor responded, ‘I would pull off the machines because you can keep her here forever, but she is not going to live.’

The doctor added, ‘Her brain is dead, her heart is not beating as it should, her temperature is dropping, her kidneys have failed, her lungs like everything has failed.’

In the end, “we switched off the machines”, Ms Andayi concludes.

- This story was first published on Nairobi News

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