The funeral service for the late 13-year-old Brian Kimani Njoroge who died on February 29 of Leukemia at the Gertrudes Children’s Hospital in Nairobi is currently underway at the ACK Saint Stephens Gatuikira in Ndenderu, Kiambu.
The family decided to conduct a virtual burial for the boy after the hospital, Gertrudes Hospital, detained his body over an outstanding medical bill of Sh13 million.
The church is filled by mourners from the neighbourhood, who have gathered to bid farewell to the child.
Pupils and teachers from neighbouring schools have also attended to condole with the family.
The original bill as at the time of boy’s death stood at Sh17.9 million. A fundraiser raised Sh1.7 million, schools raised about Sh470,000, NHIF catered for about Sh650,000 while Gertrudes waivered 10 percent of the bill, leaving a balance of Sh13m, according to Patrick Mbugua, the chairman of the burial and fundraising committee.
The hospital board meeting is reportedly today after the management failed to reach a decision. The family says it is waiting for the board’s decision.
The management had asked for collateral before releasing the body, which the family lacked.
The family is now asking for help in order to get the body before they can arrange burial plans.
The boy had been treated in India between September 2018 and May 2019, where two operations for bone marrow transplant were conducted. The family paid 13m for the procedures, courtesy of a series of fundraisers.
When he returned to Kenya in May last year, a thanksgiving service was conducted in the hope it was the end of tribulations, only for complications to recur three months later.
He was taken back to Gertrudes, where he spent five-and-a-half-months admitted mostly in ICU and HDU, till he died on February 29.
By Peter Mburu