'I don't blame anybody', mother of Mukumu Girls' student mourns

Wendy Abetti,

The late Wendy Abetti,14. The Form One student from Mukumu Girls High School died following a suspected food poisoning at the school.   

Photo credit: Pool

Wendy Abetti Oyugi, 14, a Form One student at Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls’ High School in Kakamega died of gastritis (stomach inflammation), a postmortem has revealed.

The exercise conducted on Monday evening, at Umash Funeral Home in Nakuru County by government pathologist Dr Titus Ngulungu revealed the minor who died at the institution, experienced bleeding in the stomach as a result of the inflammation.

"After examination of the body l have formed the opinion that the deceased died because of gastritis. However, l have collected more samples for toxicology tests at the government chemist to ascertain what caused the stomach inflammation," stated Dr Ngulungu.

"She was highly hydrated at the time of her death," added the pathologist.

The pathologist who doubted if the inflammation was caused by a bacteria, said only more tests will ascertain if it was caused by a chemical or bacteria.

Dr Ngulungu noted that the student must have ingested something that caused the inflammation and the bleeding.

The postmortem was conducted in the presence of Wendy's parents and relatives.

Last Wednesday, the school released the girl to go home for treatment after her condition deteriorated. 

Wendy’s mother, Joyce Oyugi, said she was informed about her daughter’s sickness last week by the school's deputy principal.

The teacher asked her to pick up the girl from school the following day.

The girl was treated for a suspected bacterial infection at a hospital in Bungoma and discharged. 

According to Ms Oyugi, Wendy who was staying with her elder sister in Bungoma, told her on phone that she was fine despite feeling weak. 

"l assured her that she would be fine, after taking her drugs," she told Nation.Africa.

However, on March 31, she received a distress call from her older daughter that Wendy's situation had worsened. 

The girl was rushed to Life Care Hospital where she died before doctors could attend to her.

"l am so heartbroken, Wendy died at a tender age, she had a bright future," said Ms Oyugi.

"The school informed me of my daughter's sickness in good time, I don't blame anybody," she added.

Ms Oyugi said her daughter will be buried at their home in Siaya County next week.

"She was a beautiful girl. I have lost a daughter and a friend. I will miss her dearly," she said.

At least 246 students at the school were hospitalised with vomiting, diarrhoea and dizziness.

Following the illness, the students were rushed to Kakamega County General Teaching and Referral Hospital and the St Elizabeth Mukumu hospital.

Initial findings at the hospital indicated that the learners may have suffered food or water poisoning.

Food samples were collected and sent to the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) lab for analysis.