KNH surgeons reattach boy’s severed hand in a 10-hour surgery

Seven-year-old Benevolence Iticha
Seven-year-old Benevolence Iticha smiles after successful reattachment of his severed hand by surgeons at Kenyatta National Hospital. [KNH]. [Photo: NMG]

Doctors at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) on Tuesday reattached the severed hand of a seven-year-old boy.

The successful surgery brings the number of such intricate operations to five.

The first of such surgery was conducted in 2018 to a 17-year-old teen, Joseph Kihara from Kihara in Kiambu County.

Now, Benevolence Iticha, a Grade 2 pupils in Githinga, Githunguri is the fifth recipient of the surgical prowess by a team of surgeons at KNH.

Iticha is said to have had an accident on October 4 while cutting grass for their cows together with his father Antony Kigotho.

His mother, Lydiah Wanjiru said that Iticha was wheeling the chaff cutter when his hand got stuck and the blades cut off his hand from the wrist.

“I saw the blunt hand bleeding, and wailed and called a neighbour,” Wanjiru recalled.

“I thank God that I had the courage to pick the hand. I picked a shopping bag that was on the verandah, put the hand in it and set out straight for the hospital,” she said.

Her first stop was the Nazareth Hospital in Kiambu from where they were referred to KNH and the hand was immediately stored in a cool box for reattachment.

Upon arrival to KNH, a team of surgeons went down to work and at 3 pm, Iticha was wheeled to the theatre where the gruelling 10-hour surgery took place.

The surgeons together with an able team of nurses and anaesthetists successfully reattached the palm.

So far, his hand is healing though he has had to undergo another minor surgery to allow for the full healing of his hand.

Full of hope, Iticha appeared before the media on Wednesday and stunningly said that his dream is to lead Kenya as the President.

Dr Benjamin Wabwire, KNH’s head of plastic and reconstructive surgery said Benevolence has still not regained full sensation on the palm. 

“He is undergoing occupational therapy and physiotherapy because at the moment he may not have sensational feeling in the fingers as the nerves grow back which take time so someone needs to work on him,” Wabwire said.

“With Benevolence being a young child, we are optimistic that he will be able to return to full function and his brain will adapt accordingly as he recovers,” he added.

Dr Wabwire advised that in a case of a chopped limb, it is not advisable to stay more than 12 hours after the accident without surgery because the cells die after this.

He also said that the chopped limb must be stored under very hygienic conditions to higher the success rate.