Baby who died at Shalom Hospital, Ethan Muendo, to be buried without brain – Pathologists


Seven-month-old baby, Ethan Muendo, might be buried without the brain intact.

Pathologists, Dr Waithera Githendu (Government) and Dr Daniel Zuria (Family), say the boy’s organ has been taken for medical tests and the earliest it can refixed is on June 21, 2019,

On Tuesday, the pathologists told Ethan’s father, Jonathan Muendo Mutiso – who is the KBC correspondent in Machakos County – that should he wish to bury his son before June 21, then the baby would be interred without his brain intact.

“The little boy’s body will be prepared for burial, and by tomorrow (Wednesday, May 8), it shall be ready [for interment]. We have taken his brain for further tests, which will be conducted after two weeks,” said the family pathologist Dr Daniel Zuria.

The news hit Mutiso so hard that he screamed in distress, causing the then-ongoing press conference at Montezuma Funeral Home in Machakos County to stop temporarily.

“It is clear; it is painful that my son was killed. You want to tell me that he will be buried without the brain? What wrong did the boy do to warrant such inhumane killing?” cried Mutiso.

A postmortem examination conducted on baby Ethan Muendo at Montezuma morgue on Tuesday revealed that he died following a reduced oxygen supply in his body leading to respiratory depression.

“The [deceased’s] brain appears swollen, but the rest of his organs are fit. The primary finding is that there was respiratory depression due to swelling of the brain as a result of alleged intoxication,” said Dr Zuria.

The pathologist says medicine used on the baby caused his death two hours after its administration.

The drug was administered into the boy through an injection in his left thigh.

“Samples of the boy’s brain, liver and body fluids have been extracted for toxicological analysis by the Government chemist to establish the chemicals that got into them, and the ratios that were present [in the chemicals],” said Dr Zuria.

These revelations come just a day after the closure of Shalom Hospital in Machakos County, where baby Ethan Muendo was killed by an overdose of morphine — a drug medically prescribed to relieve pain.

Addressing journalists at Shalom Hospital on Monday, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board Chairman Prof. Fredrick Were said baby Ethan Muendo was injected a dose of morphine that was 20 times stronger than what his body could handle.

Prof. Were said baby Ethan Muendo was supposed to be given an oral medication of the drug but since it was not available, the prescribing practitioner indicated he be injected with the dose of morphine.

“It was thought necessary that the child be given medication to reduce the pain that may come with the dressing. Medication called morphine was prescribed to be given by mouth.

“The boy was prescribed 0.2ml orally but the hospital did not have the syrup so it was changed to 20 milligrams injection instead of 1 milligram,” said Prof. Were.

The overdose is said to have led to the child falling weak and drowsy.

“It ties with what happened… The child went drowsy, went home sleepy and was brought back still very sleepy and in that process of time the child was lost,” said Prof. Were.

Shalom Hospital has since been shut down and the Managing Director, George Onyango, alongside two other employees arrested.

The hospital’s lawyer, Kiama Wangai, has apologised to baby Ethan’s family, saying: “My client feels very sorry and have no reason not to apologise. The intention was not for anyone to die at the hospital.”

Kiama further said “we won’t treat the case as political, and [we believe] eventual test results shall not be outside the pathologists’ findings”.

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