The deaths of my sister and her baby have made me appreciate family more, reveals local gospel singer

Last August was a rough one for gospel musician Daniel Heho aka Hey-Z. His sister died after giving birth to a beautiful baby girl, who unfortunately also died a few weeks later. The experience was emotionally and financially draining. He tells Cate Mukei how this has made him a better person

What exactly happened to your sister?

She died immediately after giving birth to her daughter Riri. She was in labour for 15 hours. On Sunday, August 14, I was called by our younger sister informing me that her water had broken. They took her to a hospital nearby. The following day, August 15, she gave birth but her child was not breathing.

What did the doctors say?

We later found out (while at another hospital) that my sister’s uterus had raptured and the child had ingested the amniotic fluid. My sister was transferred from the hospital where she gave birth to another hospital. She lost a lot of blood while she was being transferred in the ambulance. The hospital was reluctant to admit her because they wanted money upfront. By the time they agreed to attend to her, she was already dead.

What was your reaction when you received the news?

I could not even drive to the hospital, so my friends drove me there. I had to take responsibility as the first born and start taking care of her burial arrangements. The same evening, the doctors informed us that the baby might not survive. I gave up and went home. In fact, the next day, I was ready for anything. Luckily, she pulled through.  I decided to move her to another hospital.

Did she improve?

No. When she was admitted, she began swelling because she could not release body waste. She went through dialysis to help her excrete. She was also brain dead and had to be put on a life support machine. When they did the CT scan, the doctors told us that the brain was weak. I was hopeful she would pull through despite suffering from three heart attacks. She had to be resuscitated twice.

I believed God would keep her to replace my sister.

Where was the baby’s father all this time?

When my sister left Dubai, she had fallen out with her Nigerian boyfriend and he had gone to the UK. But he called and was very shocked to find out that she had died. In fact, he even claimed that he would send some money. We never heard from him again.

How long did the baby survive?

Two weeks. One Saturday, the doctor called us because the child had another heart attack and her blood pressure was really low. The doctor asked us to check on her as it might be the last time we were seeing her. She had also turned gray. We prayed and told God to do his will.

I went home and slept and when I woke up in the morning just before going to church, I found a message from my father asking me to call him once I woke up. I did and he delivered the bad news that the baby had passed on. Even if she had survived, she would have probably had cerebral palsy. The doctor even said that she would have probably needed physiotherapy.

How has this incident affected you and the rest of the family?

My father has become really calm. On the other hand, it has brought us closer. My mother now calls me daily, yet we used to talk once a week before. This incident has taught me I need to spend more time with my family. We have also been affected financially as we are struggling to settle a hospital bill of Sh800,000 and I hope people will come through and help me offset the bills.