Minors stuck in hospital over Shs5m medical bill for sick father

Three minors in Fort Portal tourism city are stuck with their ailing father after failing to secure Shs 5million needed for his surgery after being involved in a nasty road accident. 

Daniel Kasaija,15, Derrick Murungi,13, and Daphine Kembabazi,10, are Primary School pupils who should be enjoying the holidays. 

However, life changed for the minors in early March this year when their father, Samuel Kato was involved in a hit and run accident along the Fort Portal-Kamwenge highway. 

Kato, who initially survived on hawking merchandise in Fort portal city was heading to Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital for his routine medical checkup for epilepsy when he was knocked by a speeding vehicle, which left him with a broken neck.

Well-wishers picked Kato, who broke up with his wife two years ago for unknown reasons and rushed him to Fort portal regional referral hospital where he spent two months. 

He was later referred to Mulago National Specialized Hospital for better management. 

However, due to lack of money, Kato asked to be taken home until he stabilizes and mobilizes money for his treatment. 

His 12-year-old son, Derrick Murungi, says that doctors said for their father to recover from the Brocken neck muscle injury, he needs Shs 5 million for surgery either at Mbarara regional referral or Mulago national referral hospitals to save his life.

“They asked us for Shs 5M to take him to Mulago or Mbarara Regional Referral hospital. 

He was discharged when we failed to raise the money,” Murungi said. Currently, Kato can neither sit nor stand. 

According to Murungi, they currently rely on handouts from well-wishers for survival. 

Kato’s last born, Daphne Kembabazi, says that since their mum left home two years ago, they have no one to take care of them because their father is also ill. “We always move around peoples’ homes asking for food. 

After getting it we cook and share it with our dad. Our mother who would be helping us during such a time getting married elsewhere and has never come to check on us,” Kembabazi said. She explains that their father is in serious pain.

Gorret Kugonza, the neighbour to Kato says that his situation is worrying and needs immediate attention. She calls on the general public to support the children with money to treat their father. Kato’s immediate neighbour, Asiina Namyalo, says that his condition worsens whenever he suffers epileptic attacks.   

Robert Mirimo, a clan head in Toro says that it is time for all people of Toro to come together for a common cause. 

“I call upon all the subjects of the King of Tooro and across the country to offer a helping hand for both the kids and their father who is now bedridden. As schools reopen next term, there is no hope that these kids will go back to school because the only hope they have is their father who is now bedridden” Miriimo stated. 

Allan Kugonza, another resident said that “I was deeply concerned because Kato has always sacrificed time to be there for his friends. It is really sad that the mother of these kids is not bothered at all. 

She should at least have a parental heart to know how the kids are faring. The kids are still very young.” 

Magezi Bashil, a neighbour says that they have now launched a door to door campaign to raise the required Shs 5million and mobilize food items for the family.   

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