|Benson Osinya with his son Satrin after doctors gave him a clean bill of health at Kenyatta National Hospital, Wednesday. [PHOTO: JEFF OCHIENG/STANDARD]|
By ABIGAEL SUM
NAIROBI, KENYA: The smile lighting up his face as he played excitedly with toys Tuesday was the clearest evidence yet that Baby Satrin has conquered the terrorists who buried a bullet in his head.
The Standard caught up with baby Satrin Osinya at Kenyatta National Hospital Tuesday, one week after the bullet lodged in his head was removed.
And he flashed a radiant smile, rolling his toys on the floor, a far cry from the moving photograph of him in bloody clothes, carried by his terrified brother.
And baby Satrin is ready to go home, perhaps as early as today. After surviving a deadly ordeal, he is now a happy, playful boy, with no clue of what has happened the last few weeks, or how close he came to dying.
His mother took the heaviest impact from the bullet fired by gunmen, who brazenly attacked Likoni Church in Mombasa last month. She was laid to rest last week and it will be some years before her baby will come to appreciate the bitter truth.
Tuesday, in his room at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Baby Satrin was busy playing with his toy cars and moving around.
Immediately we entered his room, he giggled, happy to see visitors, something he has become accustomed to.
“When I first heard the breaking news that Satrin’s operation was successful, I was so happy. I still am,” said his father Benson Osinya, who had sleepless nights after the fateful Likoni church attack. He can now heave a sigh of relief as doctors are expected to sign his discharge papers today.
“Since I got pictures of the bullet and Satrin after the operation that afternoon, my heart is settled,” he said.
During the interview, Baby Satrin stubbornly asked for a phone and when he was not given, he let out a cry just to have his way.
“I get really excited and happy and contented when I see him active, playful, getting angry or annoyed, and sometimes when he gets in the way or even disturbs me, I don’t get angry because it is an assurance that my boy is okay,” said Osinya.
His brother Moses, who remembers when the little bundle clung on tightly to him, drenching him with innocent blood, was an elated chap yesterday with joy beaming all over his face.
“I am happy that my little brother is now okay and we can finally go home. I missed him so much,” said Moses.
“I will play with him and take care of him all the time,” he added with a smile as he called out to Satrin.
But Osinya will from now on have to cope with the burden of raising his last born without the comfort of a mother’s love.
“At times he calls out for his mother, but when he does, we distract him and keep him busy. Even though the death of my wife left a gap in our lives, I am to some degree satisfied that my son will lead a normal healthy life,” said his father.
When he first learnt that there was a bullet lodged in his son’s skull, the same time he got news that his wife was no more, he was terrified.
Hit by double tragedy, he felt paralysed by sorrow and fear.
While his baby was confined within the hospital walls waiting for surgery, Osinya was deeply stressed and was not sure his baby would survive even as he mourned his wife and prepared to bury her.
“The night before he was taken for surgery, I couldn’t sleep with so many thoughts rushing through my mind. At one time, I had contemplated letting him live with the bullet following the many calls and advice from friends topped by the risk involved in the delicate surgery,” he explained.
But he fought his fears and now doctors have given Baby Osinya a clean bill of health.
“I will forever be grateful to the thousands of Kenyans who prayed for us, doctors and the Government for the support. I am thankful that there were no complications and even though the incident left a mark in our lives, for now I am very happy to see my son back to his normal self,” he added.
Baby Satrin is expected to be discharged today at about 11am, but will still be expected to keep a doctor’s appointment for the next few weeks to monitor his progress.
“Satrin is doing well. He is fine, eating and playing,” said Dr Peter Mwangi, during his morning visit to check on his progress.
He led a team of five neurosurgeons in retrieving the bullet during the three-hour intricate operation.
“For now I do not foresee any complications in future. He is expected to lead a normal healthy life,” he said.