The family of ODM party leader Raila Odinga now says they almost lost the long-serving opposition leader after a severe Covid-19 attack at the height of the pandemic nearly two years ago.
In a candid interview with Sunday Nation, Raila's lastborn daughter Winnie Odinga disclosed that the former prime minister escaped death by a whisker twice while in isolation at their posh Karen home.
Raila tested positive for the virus in March 2021 and was immediately put in isolation at the Nairobi Hospital.
He was admitted to the facility after developing “fatigue”, his personal doctor, David Olunya, said in a statement to newsrooms then.
“He is responding well to the treatment he is receiving … and remains upbeat. We are continuing to monitor his progress," Olunya said.
Due to his condition, Raila was forced to skip a planned ceremony at State House to mark the third anniversary of the March 9, 2018 Handshake with President Kenyatta.
After undergoing several tests and observation, the medics recommended he be discharged to self-quarantine in one of the rooms in his house.
Winnie Odinga saves Raila's life
Winnie shared that it was while in isolation that the 77-year-old nearly lost his life.
Winnie, who doubles up as Raila's personal assistant, was at the time helping nurses manage his father's condition at home.
A teary Winnie recalled that she walked into the room and found Raila lying helpless and gasping for air after his oxygen mask dropped off from his face.
Scared, she reached out for the mask and fixed it, restoring the condition of her frail father.
In the second instance, Winnie told the local daily that she stepped into the isolation room and found her father looking 'blank and motionless'.
Raila's temperature, Winnie recalled, had terribly shot. She quickly stashed paracetamol tablets into the patient's mouth with a view of bringing the temperatures down.
Both the medics and the CEO of BrickHouse Counsel say that were it not for her quick intervention, the worst could have happened in the two instances.
Winnie, who stayed with her father throughout his illness despite the danger that came with the decision, had alternated shifts with the nurse attending to Raila.
To ensure, the patient was covered for 24 hours round the clock, Winnie said she was also taught – over the phone by her father’s doctor – how to administer an injection and medicine.
She did this daily until her father recovered fully.