By Patrick Kipkoech and Brian Okoth.
Peter Kigen, the 32-year-old man from Kericho who on November 24 regained consciousness in a morgue after being mistaken to have died, has passed on.
Kigen, a resident of Kibwastuiyo Village in Bureti Constituency, died at the Kericho County Referral Hospital on Thursday morning (December 3), Cheplanget Ward MCA Hesborn Tonui told K24 Digital Thursday evening.
“I’m with his family members, who are too devastated to address the media. However, I can confirm that Peter Kigen is no more,” said Tonui.
Kigen was on Thursday morning transferred to the referral facility after his condition deteriorated while receiving treatment for undisclosed illness at the Kapkatet Sub-County Hospital.
The tricenarian had been admitted to Kapkatet Hospital for five days.
On November 24, drama erupted at the Kapkatet Sub-County Hospital, when Kigen, who had been presumed dead and moved to the mortuary, regained consciousness after three hours of being in the morgue.
Mortuary attendants were getting ready to embalm Kigen when they noticed movement in parts of his body.
Kigen was said to have collapsed while at home, prompting members of his family to rush him to hospital.
Kigen’s younger brother, Kevin Kipkurui, said — at the time — that he was present when his sibling collapsed. With the help of their cousin, they took Kigen to the hospital at 5.30 pm.
“When we arrived at the casualty department, we met a doctor who asked us to register the details of the patient at the reception while he attended to him,” Kipkurui told The Standard on November 25.
After registering the patient, Kipkurui said he was, again, asked to visit the National Hospital Insurance Fund desk for further documentation of his brother.
“When I went back to the casualty department at around 7.45 pm, I learnt my brother was dead. A nurse told me that he died long before we arrived at the hospital,” Kipkurui said.
He added: “The nurse later handed me a document to take to the mortuary attendant before my brother’s body was moved to the morgue.”
However, at 10.30 pm, Kipkurui said, as they were waiting for embalming of Kigen’s body, they were informed that the 32-year-old was not dead as earlier believed.
Mortuary attendants who mummified the body told them that Kigen had regained consciousness.
“The mortician called me into the morgue and we saw him make movements. We were shocked. We could not understand how they could move a person who was still alive into the mortuary,” Kipkurui said.
Local leadership, led by area MCAs, stormed the Kapkatet Sub-County Hospital on November 25, demanding an explanation on how Kigen, who was still alive, ended up being bundled into the mortuary with the dead.
The hospital’s medical superintendent Dr. Gilbert Cheruiyot said the health facility was not to blame for the incident.
“Kigen’s relatives presumed he was dead and did not even wait for certification of death. They moved him to the mortuary, on their own,” Dr. Cheruiyot said.