Veron Ntinyari, a Form Three student of Ukuu Girls Secondary School in Imenti South, participated in a football match on May 31.
Her students expressed satisfaction with their rice and beans lunch. They stated the 18-year-old was enthusiastic and hoped to score some goals.
She raised her hand about 30 minutes into the first half and asked to be substituted since she wasn’t feeling well.
She fainted a few minutes after leaving the pitch. As she battled to breathe, the school nurse and other pupils hastily offered first aid and transported her to a nearby clinic.
She responded to treatment, but fainted again when they returned to the school about 6.30 p.m. and went into a coma. She was transported to Nkubu Consolata Hospital, where doctors reported she died just moments before.
Her parents now claim that their daughter died as a result of the school administration’s failure to reveal her condition in a timely manner.
Peninah Kathambi, Ntinyari’s mother, stated that based on information from colleagues, Ntinyari could have been rescued if she had been transported to Nkubu Hospital the first time she encountered breathing issues.
“The problem was that they did not even inform us that she was unwell. They called when she was already gone,” Kathambi said in an interview with Nation, adding that they buried her last Friday.
“My daughter had never complained of any health problem and I was shocked by the turn of events. I still believe that if we had known earlier, we would have tried to save her life,” she added.
She lamented that her daughter died because of negligence, shattering her dream of becoming a nurse.
“We were close and she told me she was working hard to prepare for her KCSE (Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education) exam next year. She wanted to become a nurse or a teacher. But these dreams are going up in smoke. I am so devastated that I have not even collected her belongings from school. You can keep them until I get my strength back,” she said.
Her father, Bob Kathurima, said the post-mortem showed that Ntinyari died from lack of oxygen.
“The pathologist said when she tried to vomit, the rice she had for lunch blocked her airway. It was unfortunate that although it happened around 4pm, we were informed at 7pm when it was too late,” he said.
They were also informed that when Ntinyari was taken to the hospital, she was not admitted because those accompanying her had to obtain a P3 form from the police, meaning she was already dead, he said.
When contacted for comment, the principal of the school Mary Njagi refused to give any further information about the incident.