After successfully sitting for her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) in 2016, Ms. Evalyne Pere’s dream was to become a teacher.
The girl who hails from Nkarretta area in Narok North Sub County was one of the few girls who had successfully completed secondary school as most of her age mates had dropped to get married or had been impregnated.
Ms. Pere was so passionate with her class work and looked forward to pursuing a teaching course; a career she hoped would change the face of her poor family into becoming one of the wealthiest families in the village
After parting ways with her friends from Kimorgor Secondary School in October 2016, Ms. Pere looking very healthy and in jovial mood gathered all her belongings and left to her home village.
Little did she know that on this same day, her life would take a different turn as immediately she arrived home, she suffered a severe headache and later fell on the ground unconscious.
She was rushed to Longisa Hospital in Bomet County where she was bedridden for over a month and was discovered to have been completely paralyzed on her left side.
When the KCSE results were announced, the then teenage girl who is now 22 had scored a ‘C’ plain, a mark that would have comfortably allowed her to join a teachers college as per her childhood dream.
The effort of her parents to take her to different hospitals like Tenwek Mission Hospital in Bomet, Medical Center in Nairobi and Nakuru County Referral Hospital all turned futile, as she has never recovered.
Her Mother, Ms. Karsis Pere laments that her family has spent almost Sh. 2 Million seeking for the suitable treatment for her first-born daughter in vain.
“We were not told the exact sickness affecting our daughter. The doctors just told us to go home, our daughter will be well after taking prescribed drugs. Nevertheless, her situation has never changed,” her mother explained.
She explains to KNA at their home that medics at Tenwek hospital had suspected the mysterious disease had also affected Evalyne’s brain and to give credence to the suspicions she suffers severe stammering, memory loss and jerks a lot.
Karsis says they were forced to sell their two acres at a throw away price; Sh. Sh. 500,000 and also sold over 10 cows in a bid to get money for her medication.
“It has been a long dark journey for my family. Since 2016, my daughter has never come out from the bed. We are forced to help her do everything while on her bed,” she explained.
The mother of two girls and three boys confesses that her daughter was hardworking and beat all odds to ensure she completed her studies successfully.
“She was very focused in her education. When she was in primary, she would arrive at home early enough and after helping me with kitchen work, she would engage on her books until late at night,” recalls her mother.
She clearly remembers how her daughter had wild dreams and was so focused into helping her family live a better life once through with her education.
Her younger brother, Mr. James Pere reiterates that the family has struggled in restoring Evalyne’s health by doing all they can to see her well.
“We have been forced to sell most of our precious resources in a bid to see our sister regain her strength, it has been very painful all through,” James says.
The brother recalls that his sister was a talented long distance runner and had a special passion to sing gospel songs.
“She emerged the best in long races during the primary schools interschool competitions. We had high hopes in her,” he continues.
The Narok County Children Office Social Worker, Ms. Elizabeth Kasura confesses to have known the girl when she was a teenager as she was among few girls who were determined to say no to the outdated cultural practices (FGM and early marriages) among the pastoralist community and preferred education.
Ms. Kasura laments that the unknown disease has hindered the young girl’s vision, calling on well-wishers to intervene and help the family seek for specialized treatment for their daughter.
In 2017, Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS) ranked Narok County as leading in teenage pregnancies at 40 per cent with the national prevalence at 18 percent.
By Ann Salaton