Tales From Bomet, A Parent’s Account

Dr Joel Koske met us at the gate as we drove in from our hotel; a welcoming man, he was happy to see us. After the usual pleasantries he introduced the Viva Serenity team to his wife, Mrs Eunice Koske who was equally happy to see us.

It had been a beautiful sunny morning in September and we had enjoyed a few hours of sunlight before the rain came down pounding heavily. We had visited during the short rains, which I was informed had started about two weeks earlier. The rain in Bomet County wasn’t playing games and we quickly sought shelter in the family house. The couple was friendly and easy to interview as we soon realised.

“I retired from civil service in 2019 after having worked for 46 years in government,” The senior Dr Koske said. “2020 was an year that brought very unfortunate incidents,” he narrates. “It was the year that the first case of Covid 19 was recorded in Kenya. I was adjusting to being home relaxing after many years working and then boom! Barely six months after Covid 19 happened, my third born son, Dr Fred Koske had a life-changing accident on 9th October, 2020 that left him with a spinal injury,” explains the elder Dr Koske.

“My son who was a bubbly doctor going about his work treating patients is now incapacitated and cannot even lift a spoon to feed himself,” he continues. The older Koske narrates about his son’s stay in hospital in Eldoret before he was transferred to the ****spinal injury hospital in Nairobi.

He takes us down memory lane as he tells us how it was raising his son, Fred. “Growing up, Fred was a robust little child who did not like being lifted all the time. He was very easy to bring up as he was generally not a nuisance,” recalls the senior Koske. “Fred was an outstanding student who went through school successfully. Besides loving school, he also loved jokes.”

Fred’s mother, Mrs Eunice Koske, too remembers him as a very active boy. “While most kids take their first steps at one year, Fred started walking at seven months old!” she says. “By four months, he was already crawling. He was a very sharp child and thus pursued medicine. He is not only my son but our doctor as well and any time we have a small ailment, he has always prescribed medicine for us,” she says.

Initially, Dr Koske thought his son was not too badly injured and hoped he would be up and running soon. “I figured things were really bad when we realised he could not use his hands and legs. That was when it dawned on us that Fred was paralysed,” he narrates. “I can only describe how I felt as a parent in two words: Absolutely Devastating.” However, I thank God his speech remained unchanged.”

“Every parent expects that they will look after their kids who will in turn look after them but things took a different turn,” he says. The senior Dr Koske is, however, grateful that his other children and friends stepped in to ease the burden.

“I still have an expectation that one day Fred will walk again,” he says. “The doctor in Eldoret told us that there is a new approach available in India – Stem Cell Treatment,” continues Dr Koske. “Finances, however, stand between us and taking Fred to India as we have already exhausted the funds we had as a family. The Koske family is at their end and are appealing for financial assistance. “We hope we can raise the required amount of money to take Fred for specialised treatment to India,” says Mrs Koske. I always pray for him to heal so that he will be the same Fred we used to have, she says. “I have hope that he will recover.”

“Any assistance from well-wishers and support outside family is welcome. I’m sure God will work out something so Fred can get up on his feet again so he can be able to support his family and my wife and I like he’s always done. We require prayers to support Fred in his recovery journey and to support him in his future life. We want to spend what we have left serving God,” he says in conclusion.

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