President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, knew that Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso had a few days left on earth after a London hospital, where she was admitted three months ago, informed the DP and the county chief’s family that “it wasn’t going to be possible” to save her life.
Speaking on Thursday morning at the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi during the memorial service of the late Laboso, DP Ruto said he, President Kenyatta and Laboso’s family “did what is humanly possible to save her life.”
“[One or two months ago], doctors in London said it was not going to be possible [to rid Laboso of the ovarian cancer]. [In a bid to seek a second opinion], we flew Joyce to India, [hoping she would get treatment to elongate her life]. I remember President Kenyatta called me at the time to inquire on what decision we had arrived at after the London hospital said there was nothing much they could do [to save Laboso’s life],” said the deputy president.
Dr Ruto said after seeking a second opinion at the hospital in India, they were left with no other option but “to surrender Joyce to God’s will”.
Laboso was, three weeks ago, flown back to Kenya, where she was admitted to the Nairobi Hospital until her demise on Monday, July 29.
“Because of the difficulties she was going through, it was only fair that she rests,” said Ruto.
The DP said what stood out throughout Laboso’s ailment was the support her husband, Dr Edwin Abonyo, showed her.
“Even in the difficult moments Joyce was going through, I want to tell you, Edwin, that you became a true friend to your wife. You were always there,” said the DP.
Ruto also took the opportunity to speak on measures the government has taken to address the cancer scourge in the country. In 2018, Kenya lost 33, 000 people to cancer, a number which has sharply risen from 10, 000 deaths in 2010.
“We expanded the NHIF coverage to include cancer and diabetes ailments,” said the DP, adding that the State is in the process of acquiring more radiotherapy machines.
Laboso died aged 59, and is survived by a husband and five children.
The Late Bomet county chief will be laid to rest at her matrimonial home in Fort Ternan in Koru, Kisumu County on Saturday, August 3.