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How a Chinese professor saved my daughter, Rosemary’s life! Raila speaks out

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Opposition Chief Raila Odinga has revealed how a ten-hour operation by ten Chinese professors saved his daughter, Rosemary’s life after a three-month nightmare in South Africa and Israel.

The African Union special envoy for infrastructure on Thursday night opened up for, the first time, on the family’s battle with Rosemary’s ordeal and the Chinese technology that saved her life.

In an emotional interview aired on Citizen TV, the ODM leader recalled how a simple scan by a Chinese physical therapist revealed Rosemary’s condition and consequently set her on the path of treatment and healing.

In the wide-ranging interview, Raila who was apparently overcome by emotions when narrating Rosemary’s sickness, admitted that were it not for Chinese technology, his daughter would have hardly survived.

“The therapist discovered that something was not adding up. So he took a scan and discovered that an aneurysm, which had burst, was recurring and there was another one next to it and a tumor,” Raila said of the landmark diagnosis by the Chinese.

Raila said that after the diagnosis, the therapist had to go an extra mile and send the scan for further analysis by a distinguished professor at Peking University, China.

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According to Raila, the professor informed the family that Rosemary’s condition was an emergency forcing them to urgently fly her to the East Asia state.

“They took two days examining, and then they decided that they do a three-in-one operation… about ten professors… and it lasted about ten hours. By the time they wheeled her out of the theatre, she was conscious and she could talk,” Raila revealed during the interview at his Opoda home, Siaya County.

He went on, “they put her in ICU for three hours and discharged her and we took her to a general ward. After six days they removed the stitches… seven days later she was discharged from the ward and put into rehab where she was discharged three days later.”

Raila recalled that in a span of about 12 days after Rosemary’s airlifting to China, she had been operated on, rehabilitated, discharged and flown back to Kenya – this time talking and walking.

Initially, he said, the family was thunderstruck in the middle of his presidential campaigns when Rosemary fainted in Naivasha and went into a coma for at least eight days.

The opposition leader narrated how he was on a flight to Turkana with his other daughter Winnie when she (Winnie) received a text message informing them of the incident which they taught wasn’t that serious.

“We had to send her by air ambulance to South Africa where she stayed for three months, Ida (Odinga) had to take up an apartment in Johannesburg,” narrated an emotional Raila.

Unbowed and unbent, Rosemary a few weeks ago opened up about the illness that weighed down the family and left her partially blind.

She said her troubles started last year at a workshop for women political aspirants in Naivasha where she was with her two daughters.

“My head was just aching. I just had headaches, headaches,” said Rosemary.

She said that after collapsing in her room, she was airlifted to Nairobi where the doctors upon seeing her said she was lucky to be alive for had she been transported in an ambulance she may not have made it.

“To me it was something new. I had a tumour but I also had two aneurysms. They were able to clip the two aneurysms here in Kenya but they were unable to get to the tumour,” she had recalled in an earlier interview.

“Eventually, some friends of mine said there was a place I could get it treated. So we went to China where they were able to get to tumour to cut it off. We were lucky it was benign.”

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To end speculation on her health condition, Rosemary had said that she cannot see from her left eye.

“I see mostly from my right eye, but it is half the vision. But it is foggy. It is like looking through water in a glass. It is hazy. I see things that are very close to me,” she said.

The illness, which she said brought uncertainties in her life, had forced her to shelve her political ambitions for the Kibra Parliamentary seat

On his part Raila, who also spoke extensively about his handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta, asked the Judiciary to support the government efforts to deal with corruption and not to be an impediment.

He faulted the Kenyan courts for frustrating the government’s fight against corruption by granting bonds and bail terms to accused persons and allowing them to return to public offices.

“Take the public service; if somebody is found to have misappropriated something or acted incorrectly, he is interdicted on half pay, no pay or is suspended so that you don’t go to the office,” said Raila.

“But here is a case where somebody has already been investigated and evidence has been found and he has been charged with a criminal offence; but he goes to court and is allowed to go back to the office.”

On his role as the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development, Raila said his duty entails ensuring the interconnection of energy, roads, railways, ICT, as well as air transport throughout the continent.

He candidly alluded to differences between his father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, and President Kenyatta’s father, Jomo Kenyatta, to have been sparked off by land.

He said it was Jaramogi’s objection to a compensation plan for land by the British government that resulted in bitter difference with Kenyatta who had sided with an anti-Jaramogi brigade led by Tom Mboya.

Kenyatta and Mboya, Raila said, supported compensation for the white highlands then occupied by settlers.

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